Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Ask HN: Why is Microsoft Teams still so bad?
861 points by TurkishPoptart 12 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 793 comments
It's buggy, and it crashes more often than any other app I use. God forbid you try to change the audio device from speakers to headphones in the middle of a call. And then if you try to just call back on your phone, and they want to share their screen, and you go back to your PC and try to join the call from your PC so you can see the screenshare (it's not going to work).

Seriously, with all the money and resources thrown at this company and this app, you'd think it'd be a little more stable, faster, and reliable. I am literally forced to use this app at work...

Teams doesn't have to be good to succeed. It just has to exist. It's not even very important how good it is. Given it exists, IT will make everyone use it on Microsoft's behalf regardless of how bad it is.

Or another way to look at it is that the real customers for Teams are IT departments. It makes their lives easier because they don't have to do anything and it meets all the compliance requirements they are supposed to enforce.

Which in turn reflects that the real customers of IT are regulators and auditors. Nobody with decision making power actually cares whether any of the software in use in enterprises works well or not.

Yup. It might even be that while the engineering team is aware of the faults, the MS exec team considers Teams to be brilliant.

At the senior level the role becomes a sales role - you are continuously selling your output, team, product, vision, etc internally to the other execs, board, etc. It's important therefore to present whatever you are producing as exceptional. So you look for indicators that support your pitch. Sales and forecasts are far more important than product. Product is only as important as far as it directly impacts these numbers. And with channels / vertical integration / brand like MS, a core tool like Teams is almost a guaranteed success on these metrics as long as the product kinda works.

And then it's very easy to fall into the trap of buying into your own pitch. When you are continuously repeating how great the product is you begin believe it and ignore criticism, including public opinion. "What matters is the markets opinion not the publics opinion and Teams has huge market share".

So MS execs likely believe Teams to be brilliant, which is probably partly why there isn't the internal urgency to fix the issues.

Also - its a golden goose! Its good enough, generates tons of revenue and fills a strategic product gap. Why take a big risk and refactor it? This could be a disaster.

Takes a very brave, product focused leader to push on despite the above.

It is the old joke. Dev says it is shit. Manager says it is dung. Senior manager says it has a strong odor. Director says it is powerful features. VP smiles in satisfaction.

Was looking for a good place to post this in the thread but I'll just drop it here. Microsoft Teams still lacks multi-account support on desktop.

As in, you can't sign on to several business organizations like you can in Slack. It's so dumb and disqualifying. Utter nightmare if you work with several organizations.


I've bookmarked that page and I check in on it regularly, as Microsoft claims multi-account support is due for late 2022.

The fun part is that this functionality already has been added to teams (for over a year now), it’s just disabled and hidden by default. Might be worth enabling it if you use multiple orgs. https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-teams/track...

Intriguing. Doesn't seem to work on macOS tho.

> As in, you can't sign on to several business organizations like you can in Slack. It's so dumb and disqualifying. Utter nightmare if you work with several organizations.

I think they were really hoping they could make that cross-tenant thing work where you only have one account that you can use as a guest in other orgs, but that really doesn't reflect how things work in the field (you have separate accounts at each organization).

This is a problem even if you work for one organization (e.g. govt or university) but have clients/collaborators in other organizations, and want to join their teams.

Also "we are paying for O365 already, we get Teams for free*".

This. And the second reason is "We have KPI's with Microsoft about teams: they guarantee that it works in x% of the time, and they guarantee that it complies with our security guidelines". Notably the security is something that can never be beaten by any other application, be it on of off premises. No matter how brilliant it is. It can never beat Teams, because Teams is "good enough" and "free" at the same time.

This is the real reason why my company uses teams. Its really hard to motivate the cost of slack when you already are paying for teams.

Exactly. Nobody would pay for Teams if it cost money. That's how bad it is.

Yep, and the logical conclusion would be to stop paying for O365.

There are no real alternatives to office-365 for a majority of the companies out there.

What does Google Workspace lack for a majority of companies?

On the top of my head, excel and all the features it has. There are probarbly lots of other things. But if Googl Workspace works then good for you. I just know there are tonnes of companies out there that just cant live without MS-Office

If you're the one in charge of the budget, paying $12.50/month for each employee does not make sense if you're already paying for an alternative. (Assuming Business is sufficient; Enterprise would be a lot more.)

remember when Slack tried to file an antitrust complaint about these anti-competitive practices?

Yeah well somehow that got silenced real quick. Microsoft is evil under the surface, with extreme close ties to governments, regulators, ...

I'm skeptical that even mighty microsoft can make anti-competitive claims go away by complaining to their favorite regulators. They were beat up by that. Can you provide more info?

While this is true - you have to look at the competitive space also (not just Slack). My previous employer forced us on a hosted HipChat. Absolute garbage. laggy; crashed often (sometime taking down my host) and worst of all randomly deleted chat history - so if someone sent you something (important) you may or may not be able to reference it later. Absolute garbage.

Left that company (a fortune 50) ~roughly when Teams began rolling out, and my coworkers complained to no end (Slack -> Teams migration happened roughly when i joined). I still complain about Teams - but outside of raw IRC Teams is by far the best messaging App I've used at work. (I do also run slack/discord for personal groups/projects, though nothing at crazy scale).

Someone should make job board where people can filter out companies that use Teams instead of Slack or Discord.

Use of Teams has a been a deciding factor about not taking a job before. It's got to be pretty bad when it makes me nostalgic for HipChat.

I used HipChat for years and never actually saw what the thing looked like. Any XMPP client just worked, no hassle whatsoever. When we later switched to Slack it was actually a downgrade from my point of view. :-/

Unfortunately, at least in my experience, if the company shows any signs of success then incoming Finance/IT execs will force a change to Teams to "enable growth". If they begin to struggle, then incoming Finance/IT execs will force a change to Teams to "consolidate and streamline". I've experienced both of these. Resistance is futile.

Throw JIRA into the mix while you're on it.

Also can I choose my own OS or am I stuck with the "approved" one or two.

You can choose which job to take and you can ask what OS they'll allow you to use before you sign any offer.

Wait, what's wrong with JIRA?

There's lots, but I think it comes down to two main things: It has bad defaults, and it can be customized to have really draconian workflow rules.

If you configure it to be reasonable -- keep the workflows very simple with few to no validation rules -- it can be fine to use. The temptation seems to be locking down admin access to managers, and then the admins going crazy building workflows like "these 19 custom fields must be filled out to start" "items must go through a QA step" "QA users are the only people that can approve that step" and "PMs are the only ones that can close a ticket". This quickly gets out of hand and makes it horrible to use.

It also depends on the people using it -- garbage in garbage out, as they say. If people write good tickets (concise titles, format the body, remove irrelevant crap, and properly fill out meta fields like fixVersion) it is much more useful. JQL is awesome, and embedding tickets and JQL queries of tickets into Confluence is awesome (hint: easy way to make release notes) -- but both of these require non-garbage ticket content.

Subpar at what it's supposed to do, extra features don't add a whole lot, mostly made and configured for managers instead of developers. Largely the same reasons people dislike Teams. Has even worse integrations with the Atlassian stack than Teams with the MS stack.

JIRA, just like Teams, is slow, bloated, still won't fix basic issues and largely exists to appease managers. You have to actively work to make JIRA a pleasant experience. It's too easy for most management to make it hell.

I personally find that the more I have to use JIRA, and the more magical ephemeral rules that are set up in it to take actions in response to my actions with it, the more terrible it is to use.

I've worked on teams where I just threw info into a card, and it was acceptable to use, and I've worked on teams where commits had to have a JIRA tag associated or the commit got rejected, including in instances where bitbucket was timing out it's call to JIRA. In the latter cases, I prayed for Atlassian's swift destruction, but alas, was never answered.

So like a lot of tools, it's how you use it, mostly. That said, as far as universal problems, cloning cards has to be one of the worst UX experiences I run into on the job with any frequency that I can't just fix myself. If the web app needs to await a successful or failed clone of a record (or series of them), I'm not sure why they can't implement a modal or a spinner or other component to tell the user that something is happening, then either navigate the user to the new card, or ask the user if they would like to view the new card. Shooting off a process that you say could take an indeterminate amount of time then dropping eventually a completion notification and link in the bottom left panel is just about the least helpful way to communicate that information.

edit: unrelated meta comment, but it's funny as hell to me that this question got 4 replies in the few minutes it took me to write this reply, all within 10 minutes of the original. People are really out here just waiting for a chance to complain about JIRA. Myself included it seems. Makes me feel a bit bad, hate to pile on to popular sentiment when others have already commented in a similar direction.

I'm trying to cleanup a Git tree right now where people haven't put JIRA tags in their commit comments, it is impossible to find out why a change was made, it isn't a totally stupid requirement.

"It's impossible to find out why a change was made" is a completely separate issue. Either the code is documented or it's not, completely polluting your history with JIRA tags isn't the answer - not least of all because like a sibling commenter said you're now forever tied to JIRA, or if you ever move off of JIRA, now get to choose between bringing JIRA tag information into the new ticketing system, or rewriting your entire git history again.

It's definitely a concern to rely on the ticket system, but the commit message and the comment can't (and shouldn't) contain every bit of info about a change.

Commit message: "Improved clarity and detail in error message"

Ok, that's obvious what's happening, and as a standalone change that's absolutely fine. But the question it doesn't answer is why did someone actually put that effort in?

If the commit message mentions a ticket, then you can go look that up, and now you can find out, for example: it was a ticket that was an unknown bug being experienced by one specific customer, and so the error message was being improved as part of tracking down the bug. You also see who the customer was, internally who reported/escalated it, how long this has been an issue for, and if the bug was found and eventually fixed or not.

I'd argue absolutely none of that belongs in comments in the code, and it's way too onerous for a dev to constantly put that level of detail into every commit message. It's a balance: it's only useful to lookup that info on a small fraction of commits; it takes a lot of time to figure it out when missing (especially if it was many months ago); and putting a ticket number in each commit message is very low effort.

The project has just moved to JIRA from Bugzilla. The original convention was to put the Bugzilla issue ID in commit comments, these IDs were carried forward when moving to JIRA so people can still search for them.

Yes, "let's tie our codebase to the choice of ticket system forever as a means to commit documentation"

You can have both. Also, let's not pretend developers are wholly committed to writing comprehensive commit messages. A ticket number is useful if the change was relatively recent. If the organization moves to a different tool, chances are they are well aware of the potential history they are leaving behind.

and... I've never yet been in a team/project where being able to track/view/find issue/code pairings from years ago was ever remotely useful or helpful. If it was something in the last few months, sometimes people could dig in and try to understand a bit more by asking relevant people.

Finding a 'bug' introduced by someone from 4 years ago who doesn't work there any more, then finding the particular ticket that spawned it... this has never been high on the priority list of anyone I've ever worked with.

As an architect working on maintenance & refactoring, I find regular value in being able to understand the context (issue tracker ticket) in which a commit was made.

Also more than mildly useful for devs doing porting work.

Commit comments are rarely substantive enough, and "asking relevant people" is nice but not an actual substitute for keeping meaningful records.

I can recall multiple times I've determined why the current logic in the code should be not simplified as part of refactoring or fixing a bug after tracking down the original ticket associated with a commit. That original ticket is quite often a bug report, and sure enough, there was actually a good explanation for why the code is written the way it is, which is almost never going to be captured in commit or inline comments. While having an associated unit test is arguably a better way to capture the reason for such code changes, there are many reasons that's far less likely to exist than a JIRA ticket or equivalent.

So people put the ticket number in the message and then don't write a useful commit message. Congratulations, you just added one roundtrip per commit to the slowest website in existence to every single time you want to look at git history.

Did I mention that you can't look at JIRA from a mobile phone?

This assumes that writing a ticket causes people to explain their rationale better than a commit comment does. That might be the case, but it often isn't because tickets are filed by developers themselves, or by PMs who just write tickets like: "A system requirement is that users be able to do X" without further explanation.

Or you just write sensible commit messages. Commits together with the messages should require as little out of band information as possible.

Bullshit. "Fix performance issue in listing page for customer support".

Which customer? Is it the same issue as the one this other customer is reporting? How does the support person know the fix has been released?

Unless you are expecting devs to copy paste a tonne of info into commit messages, it's way easier to just put the god damn ticket number in the commit title.

If you really need to commit something with no ticket, just have a dummy ticket placeholder like DEV-0000.

99/100 it's just laziness on the devs part... It's way easier to add a ticket number than write super detailed commit messages, and every case of missing Jira numbers of seen, there has never been a detailed commit message in its place... /Rant over

> Unless you are expecting devs to copy paste a tonne of info into commit messages, it's way easier to just put the god damn ticket number in the commit title.

Yes, that's what devs should do. Or link to an issue from the git provider. Commit messages shouldn't contain customer information, they should contain fine grained information why the change fixes a particular issue and other technical minutae.

What you doing here is conflating business information and technical information. Business knowledge has no reason to be in commit messages. The code base should be 100% understandable without specific knowledge about what customer wanted what. It would be a huge red flag for me to see those things talked about in the context of the commit messages as a regular thing.

I hate to break it to you, but code is usually written in support of a business objective and does not exist in a vacuum of technological purity... I say this as someone who's written everything from x86asm to python and everything in between for decades. If it really upsets your sensibilities to insert a reference to that business objective in a commit message then I don't know what to tell you...

A business objective is generally translatable to a use case, user story or requirement that can be understood without knowing "Mr. Smith from Company Thingamajig struggles to do x and is willing to pay sums of money to have it fixed". Your developers absolutely should NOT be knowing or dealing with business objectives.

As always there can be exceptions but if this is normal operating procedure for your company I would run far and fast.

> If you really need to commit something with no ticket

I'm of the opinion the only time this should ever happen is if it's a critical fix to allow ci builds to succeed. E.g. unit tests with hard-coded assumptions about the external world (current date etc.) that stop being true. Or errors in pipeline scripts that occur due to changes in a build agent.

The best thing about cross-linking between Git and an issue tracker is that when you have multiple commits for one ticket (very common), they can all link back to one ticket. Having the extra context from discussion is useful, but obviously that can be summarised in the commit message. So being able to instantly get a list of commits that link to the one ticket is the really invaluable feature that I don’t know of any good way of doing another way.

I'm a big fan of this personally, but I've also lived with the experience of completely useless commit messages, so I understand both arguments. Here's the most recent commits for a project I'm working on:





Log entries

missing package json

missing package json

ttl in seconds

cache back on

Still, I'd rather try to convince people to write useful messages than hard bind my remote code repository to my system for managing work, and often times (but certainly not always), single line commits are self explanatory.

Jira doesn't really work well out of the box. It needs a lot of work to configure. I love Jira now, but it's been hell in the other startups. It's probably why stuff like Trello and Asana took off.

JIRA implementations I've seen don't help people see what's ahead; they focus on what's been done to date. If you're on a single, small team that has minimal dependencies on other teams, that can work, but if the project has any significant dependencies on other teams, it becomes very hard for anyone to understand how things are going.

That’s literally the point of the kanban board. I don’t understand how these projects were configured for that to be true — did they hide the backlog?

Atlassian is an asshole company for their stance against selfhosting it.

What stance? You simply purchase a license and selfhost it.

See https://www.atlassian.com/migration/assess/compare-cloud-dat...

Newsflash: Jira Server end of sales was in februari 2021. Support will completely end in februari 2024.

You better start scheduling your migration.

Maybe for insane prices. But that too will go away.

People that don't need Jira but are forced to use it just hate it.

Same as any other product in the world.

What's good about it?

It's the first line on my LinkedIn bio. I've gotten no shortage of recruiter inboxes saying they don't use Teams.

I'd rather have Team that Slack or Discord.

After my company switched to Teams, my IT department became much more productive because the amount of needless interaction with other people decreased.

And we were not affected by that shit, since we share the same office anyways. Who needs a messenger when you can shout ;)

How did Teams do that that slack or discord couldn't do? 90% of the features are overlapping. And Teams performs by far the worst at that 90%.

I think this:

> And Teams performs by far the worst at that 90%.

is exactly the reason for:

> the amount of needless interaction with other people decreased.

Simply put: nobody wants to touch teams, so they only do this when absolutely necessary (and even then chances are they will just send an email).

It's not about the specific technologies a company uses, but rather how that choice gets made.

Teams is chosen in companies where the organization is so big that "unification" is seen as a big plus.

What you're out after, are smaller organizations where choices are made based on what people working with those things actually want to use.

So look for headcount rather than what chat program they use, because the headcount will affect more choices than just what chat program you'll end up having to use.

> It's not about the specific technologies a company uses, but rather how that choice gets made

But sometimes specific products are simply less than ideal no matter how they're used. I consider Teams to be one of those.

why on earth would you use Discord in a company setting?

I would rather just go back to IRC.

I've always regarded Slack as "IRC, but non-geeks will use it as well."

This model is not by any means entirely accurate but it's been an extremely effective heuristic.

Slack is worse than Teams, no thanks.

I've used both. IMHO Teams is by far worse than Slack.

This doesn't mean that Slack is better than anything else, it's just better than Teams. Truth be told, even sending a letter by mail is better than Teams.

My company uses both. That doesn’t improve things much but it does give me a good view of both.

- slack great for - huddle collaboration - chat threads - searching chats - focused chat layout

- teams great for - sharing video of eachother - taking control of screen share (no need to futz with asking someone to stop sharing when they already vocally told you to share, most sharers aren’t trying to steal the screen from you as devs) - reactions / emojis when you want to react silently

"surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman"

Teams seems to consistently make me think I’m fat fingering things and I have to go back and type again when I open a new message and start typing. I seems like it’s storing something in a buffer then spewing it async out all at once in the wrong order when it catches up with my input. This happens multiple times a day on a 2017 i7 laptop.

Maybe Teams is an Intel make work program? Have it run slow on all but the most expensive new Intel processors?

It's also upsold as part of existing MS sales agreements which is why execs will buy it. Easier and cheaper than negotiating a new enterprise contract with an unrelated company eg Slack

Along the same lines, Googles Chat and Spaces are really close to becoming “good enough” that you don’t need Slack. Their threading setup is awful and they desperately need to let admins set sane defaults for notification sounds, do not disturb hours, etc.

But aside from that it’s really close to being a good enough chat option that Slack doesn’t feel necessary.

Google Meet is already good. Gmail is excellent and the calendaring system is best in class.

They fix the chat UX issues and it’s going to be interesting.

I don't trust Google to not kill features and products on which I would come to depend.

No matter how good Google chat gets, it’s inevitable that Google will kill it sooner or later. It’s a non starter.

This is a bad answer. It's actually a non-answer. You can apply this to a lot of questions. Why does X ... Y (because X can get away with it).

There are real resources behind Microsoft Teams and a lot of people want it to be good. They may not get much of a signal about how well their product is doing compared to competitors because lock-in effects, but I can guarantee you the product managers and executives at Microsoft want the product to work well.

I understand why this sounds like a bad answer, but it's not half-bad in context.

Microsoft 365 absolutely is something of a buffet for companies/orgs with IT budget constraints and compliance-heavy objectives.

Just more stuff that sort of works and ticks boxes, starting with hosting almost everything in the EU for European customers. Compare that to Google, who flat-out refuses to guarantee EU-only hosting for Workspace customer.

All the bundled extra tools outside e-mail and the absolute core M365 Office apps just sit there, ready to use, easy to package and deploy to clients. All generated user data is stored in the MS environment every stakeholder has signed on to. From OneNote, MS Todo to Teams, everything's integrated without as much as configuring SSO externally.

A lot of what's included, Teams specifically, is shockingly bad. But these elements tick very important boxes. And very few people seem to care about the rest. UX isn't a compliance-mandated requirement.

I sort of know this, as I work at a company that has to punch above its weight in compliance, due to industry specific requirements.

If you need good single-sign-on for Slack, you end up paying the now Salesforce-owned company over USD 10/month, just for Slack. If you want decent data retention controls for Slack, you need their Enterprise Grid plan, the price of which is unlisted, but I've heard it's like USD 25/month/user(!). Just for Slack.

Same with Atlassian. The decent handful of dollars you pay per user only applies if you're ok with shockingly limited controls.

With Microsoft, you get a lot for just buying M365. You can get started building a soundly logged and controlled environment if you put everyone on M365 Business Premium (including desktop apps) and/or F3 licenses (web/mobile apps only) for about 20 and 10 dollars respectively.

Sure, you do pay through the nose for the really good logging capabilities with M365 E5 licensing, something close to USD50 per user/month, which is a lot, but it also includes everything from Defender antivirus, InTune device management, Teams telephony call-in support to a Windows Enterprise client license.

There's so much included with M365 in terms of compliance and bundle value that Microsoft absolutely can leave it absolutely terrible UX condition, so they do.

Following your reasoning I'd say your answer is a non-answer as well because

> executives at Microsoft want the product to work well.

IMO, everyone wants the product to work well (except probably competitors).

So why doesn't it?

I'm aware this is not an answer either :-)

> So why doesn't it?

Because microsoft saw competitors that look scary and so decided they needed an all new project released in a hurry. If they have been willing to spend a few years before release they could have a good product, but instead they rushed things to production.

Lync (later skype for business) worked pretty good, but lacks a lot of features (others have mentioned various chat things before then). If they had invested in that all along they probably could have made a stable teams, but the temptation is to call something done and milk profits out of it until you are behind someone more innovated.

I would assume Microsoft is using teams in house. They should get plenty of feedback - the people writing the software should see most of the issues and have motivation to fix them. The admins are just down the hall and can talk to the developers if there are problems. The executives can talk to the project manager about the priorities they need...

They may not know how it works at my company, but it can't be that different.

> I would assume Microsoft is using teams in house

I wouldn't. But surely there's someone here that actually knows? It does seem hard to believe their own engineers would put up with all the issues it has.

Edit: the only evidence I could find you're right was at https://www.microsoft.com/insidetrack/blog/new-microsoft-tea.... But whether it's the primary tool their devs use for communication I don't know.

Yup, almost everyone at MS is using Teams internally. When they collaborate externally they use whatever the partner prefers. For example, there is a Discord server for ReactNative contributors and collaborators with a bunch of MS folks on it. I guess it's also possible there's a Team for Meta folks to talk to MS directly but I somehow doubt it - or at least, I doubt it gets used very much if it exists :)

> Yup, almost everyone at MS is using Teams internally

Really? So they have to know how awful it is. That makes its continued awfulness even more perplexing.

Really? With the exception of Office I can't think of a single microsoft product that could ever be considered "good". They have consistently crapped out sub-par products for decades. It would be perplexing if they could actually get any IM software to a good state. This is their 3rd one. They even bought arguably the best one in the world (Skype) in 2009. Which was "coincidentally" the year that Skype usage fell of a cliff.

Have you never used Visual Studio or VS Code? Would you consider C#/.NET or TypeScript to be products? Having worked with various developer-centric tools across Windows, MacOS and Linux for the last 20 odd years, if I ever felt MS consistently dumped sub-par products on its userbase I'd happily walk away and use alternatives. Teams is one of the few of their products I regularly resent being forced to work with, and would never recommend it if I were in the position to (and yes, Skype for Business would be next on the list).

Okay I concede that Visual Studio is also good.

VS code is another crappy electron app. Why anyone would want to use electron for a text editor is beyond me.

C#/.NET are crap. Especially .NET. And a programming language that is not cross-platfrom is a joke. I know they have made some efforts to get it to work on other OS's but those are just as crappy as all their other stuff.

Nothing wrong with typescript, but I don't really see it as any kind of innovation. It's just JS with some guardrails.

> but I can guarantee you the product managers and executives at Microsoft want the product to work well.

MS cannot even work out there messenger strategy properly. We have/had MSN messenger, Skype, Skype for business, Lync and now Teams.

What makes you think the execs in MS really care about messaging?

That they have so many products ? :)

This. Can we use anti-trust laws to break it up?

It'd be hard to argue that MS has a monopoly on real time collaboration software when Slack exists.

It'd be similarly difficult to argue they're acting anti-competitively when Slack is thriving.

I think usually the argument is that they're leveraging an _existing_ foothold to gain advantage in a _new_ market. So the existing foothold is MS Office and MS Office 360, and the new market is messaging.

How they gained this foothold in desktop productivity software is left as an exercise to the reader.

Hey, thanks! I don't know much about antitrust, so this is likely to be a dumb question;

Why is messaging a new/different market for Microsoft regarding O365? Microsoft has been including business-targeted messaging/collab tools in O365 for years. Skype for Business preceded Slack, let alone Office Communicator or Linc, not to mention Outlook.

Is using existing products to leverage yourself into a new market anticompetitive, or "how any company expands into a new market?"

Depends on the scale of your foothold

> Slack is thriving.

Is Slack profitable?

$780m profit in 2021.

Are you really suggesting to break up a company simply based solely on your dissatisfaction with the product?

the bundled packaging where they give it away for free to get market share is a well documented antitrust practice.

Lookup diapers.com for instance. Amazon sold diapers below cost to gain marketshare, took all customers from diapers.com, those guys went bankrupt, and Amazon upped the prices to higher levels than before.

I am not suggesting breaking up Microsoft and Teams, I am suggesting that giving away Teams for free should not be allowed, it needs to be fairly priced. But Microsoft has good lawyers of course.

Do calculator software devs ask for anti trust laws when someone includes a calculator in their software suite?

Considering Microsoft got hit by the DOJ for this kind of bundling, yes. They've had to be very careful about including things in Windows.

Nobody with decision making power actually cares whether any of the software in use in enterprises works well or not.

^this just isn't true. There's three camps of people. 1) The people who use Teams today and think it works just fine, they even enjoy it and find it simple to use (these people exist). 2) The people who use teams but are annoyed by many small issues that together cumulate to a poor UX. 3) People who will never like Teams for many reasons but make a point about being as vocal as possible about their hate.

Decision makers and leaders care about 1 and 2, which imho is good. I do agree that Teams isn't perfect and I also agree that it plays best, for now, with IT ecosystems. That said, end user love is critical and I think fixing that for group 2 will only help to secure Teams' undeniable comp advantage.

“Can I speak with your compliance department?”

Enterprise sales calls these days.

Lots of rules.

The most basic of features, like freezing the screen while switching context in a presentation, is not available. A request for years by all users and available like for ever, in GotoMeeting or Webex.




Thinking about it, what offers from Microsoft are not used just because somebody must use it...Or their company got it for free?

Do you think that helps Teams or not? I mean, if you can make a shitty product and know that it will sell, why make a good one? If you know you have to make a good product to get sales then that's what you'll do.

Shouldn't there be a level where some people will find the pain of the shittiness so great that they'll step outside of the Microsoft ecosystem whereas other people will accept the shit in exchange for the ease of staying inside the Microsoft ecosystem.

If that's true - and I don't know if it is - it seems like the leg up that Teams gets for being part of Microsoft doesn't help nearly so much as it should. Though truthfully in order to compete with Microsoft's entrenchment you don't just need "not shitty" you need a product that's got something going for it that's weirdly compelling. See Linux on servers or Google Chrome on the desktop.

>Shouldn't there be a level where some people will find the pain of the shittiness so great that they'll step outside of the Microsoft ecosystem whereas other people will accept the shit in exchange for the ease of staying inside the Microsoft ecosystem.

This happened at a company I worked at. There was practically a war between IT support trying desperately to force people to use Teams and the people who had picked up Zoom and quite liked it trying to stay using it.

After a grace period where IT pleaded, whinged and begged, the Windows laptops were ultimately locked down such that zoom couldn't be installed or run at all and everybody was finally shifted on to Teams.

This was all done in the name of security, citing such high profile transgressions "Zoom's end to end encryption isn't working as advertised!" and "omg zoombombing sometimes happens if you don't password protect your room!" were cited. Stories like this were circling the news at that time.

Later on when Teams was bludgeoned by several zero days that were orders of magnitude worse, nobody batted an eye of course, and that story didn't get much airtime.

Microsoft had its claws deep into that company. I suspect they have a pretty good PR team as well.

I recall decades ago picking up a book on J++ as a teenager. I quickly realized the entire point of the language was to sabotage Java. Not to be useful.

Refused to use windows for rest of career after that.


I think its unfair to say the real customers of IT are regulators and auditors. But meeting their requirements is legally mandated. You have to meet that standard. In an imperfect world with deadlines, overhead, and limited resources that's sometimes all you can hope for.

As for Teams being awful. It has problems. But all non native desktop apps do and that includes Slack and Discord. I use both Teams and Discord daily and they are about equal in frustration.

If the software works well but isn’t compliant with laws a lot of companies will have issues with it.

There are a bunch of regulations these days. GDPR is just one of them. A lot of tools are just not compliant.

IT departments have to take those into account. Especially at public companies.

Microsoft does a good job at that and tends to make it easy for the IT departments, too

There are plenty of large public companies not using Teams. I always found this to be a strange argument.

It's illegal to transfer PII to microsoft under GDPR though, so wouldn't it be like setting up a minefield for your employees to consciously choose ms teams for daily communications?

no its not illegal, it just needs a lot of lawyers to workout the details. GDPR does not block a lot of things, it only requires you to work out the proper procedures and paperwork. And that is where Microsoft is good at, the compliance support.

How is is not illegal? The details are basically "PII EU resident data cannot be given to companies falling under legislation of governments not following due process regarding access of PII belonging to those residents" + "The US government regards itself above anything else and does not follow due process when accessing PII of EU citicens stored on premise of companies falling under its legislation" => "EU law does not allow transfer of EU residents PII to US companies". There's no "proper procedures" when it comes to protecting data stored by US companies from the US government.

From what I understand of the Schrems court rulings I think you're right, but the whole EU establishment is continuing to try to ignore the ECJ on this because cutting out US vendors is more disruptive than they want to deal with. From a realpolitik perspective, it's only as illegal as the fines and binding court orders (after exhaustion of appeal rights) will make it.

I also wonder what the Schrems court rulings mean about US citizens working in the EU for EU companies, since the US might feel free to give purportedly binding surveillance orders to such citizens; or for EU residents who visit the US while working for EU companies and receive a binding surveillance order while in the US, possibly even with their work equipment and remote access to company PII.

If cutting out US vendors is disruptive, avoiding travel to and remote work from the US, and avoiding hiring (or being subject to hierarchical oversight from) US citizens in Europe would be even more so.

As a US citizen who is about to move to Europe myself, my preferred solution would of course be for the GDPR to be followed strictly and for the US to change its laws. But I'm really not expecting the US to pass that kind of legislation now.

That sounds a lot like Sharepoint’s story as well.

My company is migrating to DaaS and there is a plethora of Teams issues. IT teams got what they deserve.

Long ago Microsoft had MSN Messenger, which was one of the leading messaging apps. It worked well, and many 'normal' users were using it. Then Microsoft dissolved the team behind it and screwed up the product so bad with bloatware and ads that everyone moved to WhatsApp (except in the US where people went back to texting).

Then Microsoft came out with Communicator, renamed it to Lync, which was a corporate messenger/meeting software. It used its own server, that could federate outside. It worked very well. They added LiveMeeting as a separate app for meetings, built on the same protocols. Our company used it with the "roundtable" camera from 2008, and it all worked amazingly well. We had meetings with people joining in from home and other offices over the internet using inexpensive webcams, 15 years ago.

Then they bought Skype and it went downhill from there. I don't know what happened, but they took a lot of time integrating technologies from Skype (peer-to-peer) with their own tech (which was more telecom/server based) and tried competing with ever-changing perceived competitors by copying parts of their features and UI, without ever making any feature really good. They integrated everything into a single program, Skype for Business, now renamed Teams, and made it bloated and obnoxious. Just try to get it to not start at login... It's like MSN all over again.

I think the Communicator/LiveMeeting software combo they had 15 years ago would still (conceptually) do pretty well as messenger/meeting software now, when modernized. It was much less intrusive and behaved like nice software that you actually wanted to use.

It's kind of crazy to look back and see just how much worse we are today than some years ago with regards to this stuff. I remember an old social media named Orkut, had pretty much everything facebook had and more, also had a huge userbase in brazil and india(?) iirc, but just goot overtaken by facebook. Original skype would probably work better than zoom does today with a few tweaks(I assume, could be wrong there when it comes to joining calls without being "friends" and such). Never used communicator but I assume it would fill the role just as well by your description. Not even going to mention forums getting gutted and being replaced with discord servers that nobody uses voice(the reason i'd assume one would prefer to use a discord server). Cmmunities that didn't want to go for a forum had several "closed community" website creators(that I cannot for the life of me remember the names) and that all got replaced by subreddits...

Quite sad to see the internet continuously being shrunk down to the lowest common denominator, some federated efforts like the fediverse make me quite hopeful, a shame most of them mimick twitter.

Forums weren't replaced by discord. Forums were replaced by Reddit. Although you post still stands, I think you're very wrong in thinking about the reasoning why people use one or another platform.

Let's think about discord for a minute, why is everyone using it? And what are they using it for? I think the answers here are rather simple, people have a need for communication with peers; this communication usually takes many forms: text, voice, video, gifs, images. Discord is a platform that offers people a very simple and quick way of building communities capable of providing people will all of these forms of communication but really, now a days, every messenger application does the job. So the differentiating factor for discord is the ability to organise these communities better than any other platform (save for slack, which discord modelled itself after). Now, it's not perfect, it's impossible to build horizontal communities on discord but it does the job.

So functionally, discord offers people seeking to build communities pretty much everything they could want. Now, it still has some problems: mainly that it's not very good for long-form or persistent messaging like a forum. And this is why you usually have discord communities with a reddit counterpart, a forum-like website and a real-time interaction community.

This let discord built a very wide userbase, and once you have that then you really get to enjoy the magic sauce: network effects. To put it simply, people use discord because everyone else uses discord and everyone else uses discord because people use discord.

As the internet grows it becomes increasingly difficult to break network effects even if you have an offering that's better. But even then, it's also extremely difficult to be novel given that these big companies can simply acquire you when they start seeing you as a threat (look at adobe buying figma). Companies are quicker than regulators at seeing potential market disruptions and threats, so in most cases they can stay ahead of the game. Imo, a lot of the failings of these companies come from underestimating the competition and then trying to play catch-up.

> Forums weren't replaced by discord. Forums were replaced by Reddit. Although you post still stands, I think you're very wrong in thinking about the reasoning why people use one or another platform.

There may be some contexts where that's true, but overwhelmingly I've seen Discord replacing forums, particularly for small, closed groups. Wheereas I've never so much as heard of any group adopting a private subreddit! But tons have ended up with a discord as their central social point (whether or not they need or use the voice feature).

I've seen this especially in gaming circles (guilds, clans, etc.) and to a lesser extent in other hobbies or in patient support groups.

I know discord isn't a good match for the technical features of forums, but it seems to be a good fit for how people actually used them.

This was over a decade ago at this point but at one company we ran our own Reddit server (when Reddit was nearly fully open source) and it was set up to work with our Active Directory so if we could use our work logins.

It was really really awesome.

People used private forums before? Pretty much every country and even cities have their own subreddit, games all have their own "official" subreddits, and every hobby under the sun also has their own subreddit. I think that's what forums would be replacing. Maybe I'm not old enough but forums were rarely a very private affair, imo.

For gaming it makes sense, as it replaces Mumble/TeamSpeak/etc with smoother UI & UX.

> Forums weren't replaced by discord. Forums were replaced by Reddit.

Technically, reddit and Discourse is more like forums, but a lot of things that would have been a forum 15 years ago are now Discord "servers".

True, they were just Reddit or FB groups in the meantime.

Yup, FB Groups was really the nail in the coffin for a lot of forums. Source - Me, ex large-ish forum admin.

Reddit and Discord piled the dirt on top and added the headstone.

It's as though there is a life cycle of an applications development. Early the application is sleek, perhaps not feature rich however instead simple, concise. Either through scope creep, changed ownership or continuous addition of features the application becomes bloated. This could also be the stage of commercialization by way of adds. Finally the application dies as users move onward.

This seems to be fairly common and it seems that as these applications and companies rise and fall that they each bring there own flavor to the mix.

Google maps was concise in 2012, today the app requires a greater number of user inputs to enter a destination for example

This is amplified for chat programs. They are not really all that technically interesting anymore. They are just "good" at first while they are trying to acquire new users, and providing services for free to so. Simple and light, because there's no need to add gimmicky features to attract new users -- Free is free, and anyway the competition has recently become awful and bloated in an attempt to figure out what the magic feature is that will justify their aggressive monetization scheme.

Eventually good chat program runs out of runway, gets acquired (wow look at that userbase!) or needs to monetize on their own, and becomes the bad chat program. And the cycle continues.

>Forums weren't replaced by discord. Forums were replaced by Reddit.

From my experience there's a split, more "generalist" forums did get "replaced" by reddit, by subs such as technology, games, news, etc. More "in-depth" forums where you expected to see the same guys working on something or having matches together etc I've seen being almost always replaced by discord:fighting games forums(even for games with good MM), dev/security/cracking forums, really anything that isn't "mass appeal".

> mainly that it's not very good for long-form or persistent messaging like a forum.

Discord recently added Forum Channels to try and capture this segment as well.


Yes, I saw. It's kind of an awful feature though.

I think the best approach to a mix of forum and discord-like communities is the app "aether.app" though it had a weird protocol behind it and has been abandoned. But the UI/UX although still perfectible seemed to hit a very nice sweet-spot for me.

What is a horizontal community? Why you cannot build one with Discord? Which tool do you use instead for this task then?

I tried to set up a community with left-leaning people (politics). So we didn't really want the owner - admin - moderator structure that discord offered, instead we wanted a more open way for the community to self manage.

The biggest problem came from the fact that we had been all in a discord server in the past that was deleted by the owner after a political disagreement. So in order for that to not happen again we wanted to have a more "community owned" system so that no one would be able to wield such power without some degree of community acceptance.

Sadly, it was not possible to do such a thing on discord as there ALWAYS has to be an owner to the server that's a single individual. Some of these problems can be solved through bots (you can implement very good voting bots) but you're always fighting against the natural structure of the platform, so no solution is ideal.

Democracy. You're talking about a digital democracy!

> Forums weren't replaced by...

Well, for me they were never replaced. I still frequent them regularly for some of the best communities and community-based support around (eg. fortunately vendors of my 3D printing and PCB manufacturing equipment host good ones).

In Discord you can use the same account to join a new server, Slack makes you create a new identity one for every server you join, it's a pain. I don't know if it changed, but at least it was like that, and I never tried again.

Slack is designed for business use, i.e. you join with your company email address which is linked to a Slack organization for the company you work for (or you get invited to join as an external party)

I don't think it's ever been sold as like, a general purpose chat platform like IRC or Discord...it's a shame a bunch of OSS projects decided to settle on Slack for their community chat.

Microsoft execs salivating at your comment. It won’t take long and Microsoft will buy Discord.

Even crazier when you realize Orkut was owned by Google!

That was the problem. Orkut was successful, but that doesn't stop Google from shutting down services. Trusting a Google service to be around long-term is folly unless it's Maps or Gmail.

IIRC the other major problem was that Orkut was invite-only for a very long time. That's partly was it was so popular in a few South American countries, it was very difficult to get yourself on the platform, and even if you did, it was difficult to use it to communicate with anyone locally.

Google was not the giant then that it is now.

Google has had more than one product that I've been excited to use but was invite only, and then only got the invite after interest had died both for the public and myself. Ones I can remember are Orkut, Wave, and Ingress.

GMail was also invite only IIRC.

The difference is that GMail is useful even if none of your friends are on it.

Making a social network like Google+ be invite-only when everybody was already on Facebook was an absolutely bone-headed move and I think was THE driving factor for its failure.

There were so many memes about people finally getting an invite to Google+ and then discovering nobody was there. Without your friends on it, you're not going to make it part of your daily routine, and eventually just forget about it entirely. By the time it wasn't invite-only anymore, the hype was gone and Google+ had already been considered to be a joke.

Inbox? or do you mean the game Ingress?

Orkut's biggest problem was that Google didn't want to devote any resources to moderation but its creator had enough political power to keep the lights on. It didn't take long for users to figure out they could do whatever they wanted.

It quickly became a cesspool of racism, child porn, and other illegal activity, mostly by Brazilians, who bullied everyone else off the platform

It wasn't for a lack of trying by brazillians[0]. I can't remember much racism if I'm honest, especially by mid 2000's standards, and Orkut wasn't like twitter or facebook(today), you only had contact with people you wanted to have contact, so I can't see it being a big deal.


I don't think Orkut was successful for Google, where success in measured in annual revenue in billions.

I guess that's what the parent comment meant.

Google tries many new products (in-house developed or acquired). If it does not reach a user base of several 100 million users (or 10's of billions of revenue) after a few years then they will scrap it.

I am not so sure of those two either (at least free)... the search may stay.

But Orkut was in the wrong department. Hence had to be shutdown. The sheer stupidity of shutting down a 20% project that actually took off in a big way!

WTF is it with this weird "things were better in the old days" nostalgia? They really, really weren't!

> Original skype would probably work better than zoom does today with a few tweaks

When it came out, Skype was amazing because it let you get video calls on your computer. The audio was flaky (I paid for a number for a work line and yeah - wasn't good!), the video broke up all the time, and it dropped out a lot. But we were new to video calls that worked at all and it seemed like a miracle!

Totally not my experience. I had long, uninterrupted conversations with my (now) wife. Daily. During my studies I organized group meetings with dozens of participants without many problems. Skypes original decentralized network design was genius.

Same here. To me Skype should have been the last mover in this space. Everything just worked. I actually had an investment meeting with a Skype competitor who took us through the whole infrastructure of why Skype worked and what he was going to do.

Now a few years later there's a zillion ways to do a video call, and Skype itself doesn't seem to be as good as it once was. I really wonder what on earth happened.

Skype was "good" back then because it could pierce firewalls and nat setups with its p2p magic. See https://www.theregister.com/2003/10/08/how_does_skype_get_th... but if you look around you will find more info...

> WTF is it with this weird "things were better in the old days" nostalgia? They really, really weren't!

A lot of things really, really were. Some weren't.

Generally speaking, I do think that modern software tends to be worse in terms of usability, robustness, and resource usage. But it tends to be prettier and have more "features", so that's something.

I've gone months without rebooting my MBP, and weeks without restarting Firefox. I don't remember the last time software crashed and I lost work.

15 years ago I'd reboot nightly because things were more stable.

20 years ago I debugged an issue in the JVM where it was deleting any file it touched (http://nicklothian.com/blog/2003/08/13/a-java-bug-worthy-of-...).

25 years ago it was normal for a computer to crash multiple times a day and wasn't uncommon for files that had been saved to get corrupted by a crash.

So yeah, very happy with modern software reliability.

It's interesting to understand why facebook got so much wind.

Facebook is vanity. It is really all about ego. People love to stroke their ego. It is hilarious to me how many will defend pride and how many somehow confuse pride with virtue, when the opposite of pride, humility, is the virtue. What made Facebook popular is the same thing that makes any vice popular, such as gambling or drinking, because pride is a vice, also known as an indulgence, and pride, ego, and vanity are definitely not virtues. Facebook (and, to similar extent, Twitter) has tricked its users into believing that vice and indulgence are virtuous, and excessive vice and excessive indulgence are most virtuous. But we all used to know that excessive vanity and excessive pride, or hubris, is counted among the seven deadly sins. Facebook is basically a mass-vehicle for sin, and sin, as a transgression of divine law, feels really great. And that is how Facebook (and Twitter) did it, by presenting opportunity to violate the First Commandment and make everyone worship themselves and think they're God, at least while they're logged-in.

Oh, that's not what got Facebook big. You can stroke your ego in emails or blogs or on forums.

What made Facebook great was that it encouraged users to share personal information (including pictures and bio items) and then made it easy for everyone to anonymously take part of this information.

You could look at pictures of your crush in cute outfits or co-workers in embarrassing situations. You could read about the layoff your ex' new partner had to endure. You could see where the cool kids had their coffee. All of this at any time of day, and nobody but you would know that you knew.

It's the ultimate low-key stalking tool and it was designed this way from the start, because early on they understood that's what people want.

I don't remember the exact quote but I do know one of the early decisions was that photos ought to be open by default and you shouldn't be able to tell who has looked at them -- in contrast to many other social networks at the time.

Voyeurism, mixed with a little FOMO - they had a limited release early on, just like GMail.

I think a large part of it was also the digital photo and smartphone revolution. Instagram did that a little better, but posting straight to Facebook was a little better than what... Photobucket? Personal hosting? Emails with mass CC? It just solved that problem so well for not only the big event pictures we'd traditionally throw in an album, but also adhoc slice-of-life moments.

It also gave that power to businesses, humanising them in a way that hadn't been possible before, and that's where the money came in.

> it encouraged users to share personal information (including pictures and bio items)

Yes, precisely. This is my point entirely, that ego, vanity, pride, conceit and narcissism is what motivates these individuals to want and need to share personal details with complete strangers, and this is the entire point of Facebook, to beguile its members with a platform of opportunity to indulge in symptoms of personality disorder and character flaw.

And why Friendster didn't and how FB kneecapped and murdered MySpace in a back alley and got away with it.

I think facebook's main "revolution" is that it was the first internet as real society platform. Others were websites to make profiles, myspace added artists, but facebook was all about the "real you".

It was just ripe for when internet became a plausible soil for society.

MySpace added artists after it lost to FB and itself.

You mean the big redesign ? In my memories they rapidly had an 'direct music' crowd.

When’s the big redesign? I’m assuming this is after MySpace had already lost mindshare and was slowly dying out?

>"closed community" website creators(that I cannot for the life of me remember the names)


Not to forget that 26 years ago, starting in 1996, we had Microsoft NetMeeting.


A very good VOIP / videoconferencing / white-boarding / application sharing client present on almost all Windows computers, open standards interoperable, with an official ActiveX Control and public API. You could easily embed it into your HTML site (IE compatible only), or drag and drop it into your Visual Basic / Delphi / Microsoft Office script application and thus effortlessly embed and control the functionality into your own website/application.



When I started enjoying a blazing fast connection at Rice University in 1998, I frequently enjoyed MS Netmeeting video calls with friends who were scattered across the country. Within a few years it was a distant memory, and it surprises me how it was well over a dozen years before reliably easy video calls became commonplace.

It's been a long time since I heard mention of NetMeeting.

I remember using NetMeeting in late 97 or early 98 on a 33.6 kbps modem. One of the most memorable parts was the area were you could find other random people to chat with on audio. I had many enjoyable conversations with various people on there, something that I don't think would work well today with the increased number of horrible netizens.

I remember NetMeeting from around 2000 when we used it to at university to do shared desktop sessions for some team assignments... worked pretty well as far as I remember.

What's hilarious and sad is that MSN Messenger had a lot of features back in the early '00s that major players like WhatsApp and Telegram now only implement through gritted teeth, one every year if you're lucky. Things like custom emojis, audio messages, sending a drawing, avatars you could see, choosing your display name, exportable conversation history, you even had games! Nowadays people cheer for the bare minimum in UX that we already had 20 years ago.

And that's ignoring that niche it filled where people were identified by emails, and the particular social rules of knowing that if you went online, it meant you wanted to spend a while talking to people and were available to do so. Discord is kind of similar in that last aspect, but it's enormously complex for the average user and intended for servers, not for 1 on 1 conversations with your contacts. I've always wanted to build a clone of Messenger just because of how much I miss it.

Right but WhatsApp solved a very different problem in the beginning - how do I send a message to someone who isn't online right now (or has a flaky connection).

THAT was what was needed for mobile devices. I remember trying to use MSN messenger when I was on WAP and it sucked. And then I remember Skype on iPhone sucked for messages too. SMS also wasn't great if you were remotely international and had friends and family not in the same country as you.

It took two whole years for Skype to rearchitect away from peer to peer (understandably so).

To this day, when you want guaranteed delivery, in order and without duplicates WhatsApp runs circles around its competitors.

Compare that with Slack which both on desktop and mobile regularly has weird issues with successfully delivering a message.

Ultimately avatars are nice to have and later on top of a reliable messaging service but otherwise I'd take boring old text over flaky rich messaging every day of the week.

For EU, Whatsapp actually solved a different problem, as SMS already existed to send messages to offline people: You could fit tenfold amount of messages to an mobile data subscription to a SMS package that you can get from your mobile data provider. It was so cheap and whatsapp also had more features.

> To this day, when you want guaranteed delivery, in order and without duplicates WhatsApp runs circles around its competitors.

idk about slack et.al. but telegram does that with native clients for linux, android, ios and windows. even media-sync is pretty much flawless ime.

"Skype for Business" was just a rebranded Lync. Consumer-land skype remained a different thing until Microsoft killed that for Teams. Skype for Business' exe was lync.exe right up until the end. "Teams" was a brand new thing and didn't use the Communicator/Lync/Skype for Business architecture.

Then why does it say "Skype is using the microphone" In the KDE taskbar when on a Teams call?

>Skype for Business' exe was lync.exe right up until the end

What do you mean "end"? We still use it!

It's now end of life for Teams, there's no chance they'll rename the exe at this point. You'll be lucky to get anything except the most critical bugs fixed.

I miss skype, only because there was a pidgin plugin that allowed you to use a nice lightweight and snappy client.

It's really crazy how everyone had MSN back when I was younger. It was great, it had webcam stuff, personalization of font size and colors and such, plenty of emoticons, and even GAMES!

I can't believe they managed to kill this amazing product.

I do feel like FB is being killed in the same way, as it was an amazing product for many years and has slowly become ads and unrelated content in a noisy newsfeed :( I really think FB should go back to its roots and simplify the interface and go back to the chronological timeline.

I don't understand why product feel that they need to change to stay relevant. They should just launch other products instead of changing what works well.

It's because it's not enough any more to have a company with a stable source of income; investors expect a stable increase of income.

> Just try to get it to not start at login...

God, why do PMs push this crap. Like users are picking their communication software of the day based on what pops up into their face.

Communication software needs to run in case someone wants to contact you. It should start in the background though.

Communications software needs to run when and only when I want it to run. Who in the heck are you to tell me when to run an application on a device I own?

Thank you, we need more of this mentality. I am in charge of my computer, not some tech company product manager 1,000 miles away. If I don't command my computer to run a program, it should not run it.

If I don't think some company's messenger application should run in the background on startup, it should not run in the background on startup.

No, communications software needs to be in the background ready to use at an instant when needed.

There are many people who need more personal discipline to not contact people constantly, but the software itself should be ready for the times when they should contact you, interrupting whatever it is you were doing.

dear lord, I hope you're not a PM at Microsoft.

Do you also start/stop the modem on your phone whenever you need it?

For the majority of people it makes sense to have a comms app always running as they come to expect that from the smartphones.

Granted, there should be an easy way to configure this behavior for advanced users.

Although a smartphone is a computer (and a pretty powerful one while we are at it), I see it as a communication device. It's main purpose for me is to chat and talk with other people, so I want the modem working as much as it can, or I could miss a call from my granma. Even though I can watch videos (and you could say broadcasting/streaming is a form of communication, just a simplex one) or browse the Web[0], I identify a smartphone as a communication device. That's why I miss hardware keyboards a lot!

In contrast, I see a computer as a general purpose machine. Sure, I don't turn off the WiFi of my laptop, or the router/AP from my house, but those are means to many ends. When I want to check mails on my computer, I launch Thunderbird, and when I want instant mesaaging, I use whatever program/WebApp I need.

[0] As I am now doing, writing a comment in HN is a PITA in a smartphone.

With Teams, my laptop is also my phone. Really, my old DID for my desk phone is now my Teams number.

Same thing with Signal. I routinely take/place calls with friends and family through the desktop client. If I'm on my computer and I've got my computer headset on, I might as well take the call on the computer instead of taking off the headset and using yet another device.

As my computer is a general purpose device, one of its many purposes is also a communications device.

And as such, it should serve as a communication device when and only when I want it to.

So I take it you turn the modem off on your phone unless you're about to make a call?

Or do you leave it connected for long stretches of time to be ready to take an incoming call?

If you had a desk phone did you unplug it until you were going to make a call?

How do you handle incoming calls if you’re not running?

> Do you also start/stop the modem on your phone whenever you need it?

That would be a slightly different way of accomplishing what I already do (silence everything on my phone, and in general, try to prevent it from bugging me when I'm not actively using it).

It wouldn't be a bad approach at all if it made the phone shut the fuck up. The smartphone is one of the best examples on the market of product managers mistaking addiction triggers and "engagement" metrics for evidence of good user experience.

I think we should strongly encourage everyone to be both more aware and more in control of the devices and applications they elect to use.

> Do you also start/stop the modem on your phone whenever you need it?

Yes, I do (effectively). My phone spends a large percentage of the day in airplane mode.

Wait wüt....

Regardless of software, I decide when I'm available to be contacted... not somebody else.

I already mute all notifications/ringtones on the phone when I want to focus, why should we also start doing this on computers?

What makes you as a human more valuable than other animals is your ability to communicate. As if your have everything muted you are making yourself less valuable. The ability to focus without distraction for short periods is okay, but as a human you need to be available to communicate with others the vast majority of the time.

You will get less done in total, but what you do get done is so much more valuable to humans as a whole that it is worth the loss of focus. It was a real mind blower when I realized that, I still get frustrated at times with my inability to get hard things done quickly, but in return I get much more important things done with the help of others.

> but as a human you need to be available to communicate with others the vast majority of the time

I hope every time you are in public (and even in your private life) that you are accosted by randos who are over eager to share whatever drivel comes to their mind. And if you complain they will retort with "as a human you need to be available to communicate with others the vast majority of the time".

Please answer ever spam caller, every JW/door-to-door salesman. You _need_ this. Please post your personal contact details in every public space. Everyone NEEDS to communicate with you. It's not up to you. It's up to them. They must be able to communicate with you whenever it suits them.

"What makes you as a human more valuable than other animals is your ability to communicate. As if your have everything muted you are making yourself less valuable."

That's a nice hypothesis. do you happen to have some research or such regarding this. that could be a nice read :)

And it seems you agree with the original intent of my message. There is a time a place for being focused/left alone. And it's not up to a piece of software (or other humans) to decide this on a permanent basis.

also regarding "You will get less done in total, but what you do get done is so much more valuable to humans as a whole that it is worth the loss of focus."

It's funny because I have the opposite experience. Guess everybody is different in this regard.

Optimist view: Teams replaces desk phones at some (many?) companies. Relying on the average user to open an application to be able to receive phone calls is asking a lot, and is potentially ripe for abuse.

Pessimist view: Companies gain the ability to covertly track presence, which isn't feasible if Teams is left to the user to open.

They also bought (and ruined) MindAlign which had originally been developed and spun off from UBS investment bank and was light years ahead of its time.

What they turned it into / replaced it with was such a depressing step backwards.

Yup, MindAlign was born out of an internal product in UBS called 'Interchange'.

Interchange was a java client, that fundamentally spoke standard IRC to IRC servers, but also used extra external databases to auto-connect users to channels and secure sensitive channels. The client also forced real names (via Active Directory), and was hardcoded to only connect to the UBS IRC servers.

The IRC servers themselves were altered to only allow Interchange clients to connect[1] and to only allow approved bots in channels most of which did full chat logging for compliance purposes.

Interchange was so slow it was nicknamed 'Interchug'.

The IRC server network spanned the UBS WAN network globally, and all staff were encouraged to use it. For the era, no other large banking corporate had anything similar running (officially).

Source: I worked in UBS IT during this period.


[1] Although the more enterprising of us just HEX edited mIRC to report the Interchange client name.

I think Interchange was not originally Java but a NeXTStep application. I am also ex UBS. I don't remember it being slow though.= but then again I might not have used the Java version just NeXTStep and the mIRC hack.

Did you and I ever cross paths ? Wondering now if I know you ;)

Well that was just a nice GUI on top of IRC, and probably some work on the server.

I don’t know which universe you live in, but things like Microsoft Communicator/Lync and “worked very well” do not belong to the same sentence in mine.

I too remember Lync being incredibly buggy. It's probably the least reliable chat software I've ever used.

An ancient version of Skype for Business is embedded into my old gaming rig. I have tried on several occasions over the years to nuke it but I could never be bothered to break out a debugger and a process analyzer to get to the root cause. It still opens on every restart. I don't even think Microsoft knows how to remove it.


> Then they bought Skype and it went downhill from there. I don't know what happened, but they took a lot of time integrating technologies from Skype (peer-to-peer) with their own tech (which was more telecom/server based)

I was at Skype at the time, working on this very migration, so maybe I can shed some light on what happened.

There were a number of failures (on Microsoft part mainly) that made the whole thing collapse:

- The original Skype developers were used to program in C++ with on-premise Linux servers. When the migration plan came in, the tech stack switched to C# on Azure. Most developers were not really keen or experienced working with C# and Windows. Azure was very much beta at the time, I remember the philosophy was "eat your own dog food" which created an insane amount of frustration working with sub-par tooling, little to no documentation, plenty of bugs on Azure. There is also a mentality/philosophy shift of working with C#/Windows coming from C++/Linux which was not great for team morale.

- Support for group chat was paramount, which meant there was a need of transition from peer to peer to client server.

- The original Lync team was very much annoyed with the rebranding and migration plan and was not really keen on helping Skype developers. I remember us receiving a "dump" of the Lync VCS as tech reference, in the form of a big fat multi GB archive. There were tons of binaries, even videos in there... Lot of fun...

- MS/Lync used a _huge_ amount of proprietary SIP extensions to have Lync work.

- The migration to the cloud and client-server model was accompanied by a huge migration to a brand new microservices in C# project. It meant recoding everything in a new language, a new platform, a new protocol, dealing with hundreds of half baked microservices in a half baked cloud platform. It was slow, buggy, and an architect astronaut fest.

- Overall 99% of the original Skype calling team resigned and joined Twilio.

- Pretty much every manager from MS that I have seen at Skype stayed no more than a year then rotated to a new role, at one point we had 4 changes of management in 2 years.

- Every single interaction with Microsoft management was surreal. Pardon my language, but they were not technical at all, unable to understand the most basic architecture proposals, bullshitting tech talk 9 words out of 10,and overall they were living in an other planet in terms of market share and branding. You could definitely tell that they were talking "product" and "objectives" for Skype, but never used it, understand it's competition, challenges, etc. Pure bozos.

In the end I think Microsoft still extracted some value from Skype, mainly:

- Skype had good PSTN contracts worth a lot of value. The matching engine to select the cheaper one dynamically had value too, and historical data.

- The brand itself had value for customers.

MS engineer who worked on Lync. I feel like the Skype acquisition was poorly handed too, but interesting how the perceptions differ.

We were folded into the Skype org, with Tony Bates -who I maintain had no idea what he was doing- reporting to Ballmer. Fine. But he and his henchman (Mark something?) embarked on a quest to make everyone do by-the-book Scrum. That, screwing around with corelib, and the ill-omened liveid migration process meant that Skype didn't improve in any way users cared about for several years. Meanwhile, the competitive landscape changed and the only Skype feature anyone ever used - being able to call your grandma in another country for cheap or free - lost its differentiation. It was clearly over by the time my mom told me she had whatsapp.

Nobody I knew had any animus towards Skype engineers and we were entirely willing to help... but what anyone actually wanted was kind of unclear.

Someone I know who worked there said that after the sale to Ms they had 4 levels of managers between a developer and Ballmer. A year later it was 8 levels. Maybe he was exxagerating, but that was also adding to the problems

It's generally engineer -> engineering manager (10 people) -> group engineering manager (100 people) -> VP -> fancy VP -> CEO.

Depth of org in a company is logN(number of employees) where N is the number of reports a manager has. At Microsoft there's order of 100K full time employees and N is about 10, so depth is about 6. This seems fairly unremarkable to me, though obviously there are other ways to do it.

I love that alignment description, that reminds me of what it was like when I was at Microsoft. Fancy VPs always did unclear things. Above them in my chain was some kind of president who had no clear role either.

> Then they bought Skype and it went downhill from there.

I still remember older versions of Skype, which felt usable and rock solid. I actually used some from I think http://www.oldversion.com/windows/skype/ back in the day for my personal stuff, because the reworked UI was just worse.

But nowadays, I don't really care that much, whether I have to use Skype, Teams, Zoom, Slack, Discord, Jitsi, Mattermost, Rocket.Chat or something else - all of the communication tools out there feel viable, just none are excellent.

That said, WhatsApp feels like it's an order of magnitude faster (on mobile) than Signal and Telegram somehow (privacy implications aside, it's still one of the more popular ways to chat with people in the EU), which I found interesting. Of course, it's generally for chatting, not necessarily team collaboration (where you'd want channels and workspaces). On the desktop, however, generally you're just dealing with packaged browser apps most of the time.

I do feel like mentioning how nice having self-hostable non-cloud options is when you need them, be it Nextcloud Talk or the aforementioned Jitsi, Mattermost, Rocket.Chat or something else.

Matrix is a nice federated protocol and with its client element (formerly riot) https://matrix.org/docs/projects/client/element both demonstrate some respect for user privacy boundaries.

But since it is mostly a network effects game and the setup of keys may be somewhat of putting I am not very optimistic.

Its' a shame though...

I started a new job and decided to go all in on using o365, including keeping notes in onenote. They’re launching a new version next month and I’m hoping that things go in the right direction and they keep the features i’ve just started to use.

The innocence is so cute in this one

I signed into o365 a few days ago and it recommended a random excel file of a completely unrelated department to me. Not sure why an office application needs to "recommend" files.

Indeed. The Sharepoint app for iOS is particularly fun for this.

I have gone to the trouble of installing a Sharepoint application. The idea that people are doing this who do not want a directory tree as 99.99999% of what they do is insane.

I wish you well, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Sweet summer child

Microsoft had several different non-interoperable message apps, including two named "Messenger." Those golden days didn't look so shiny when we were there.

Luckily, there was Pidgin/Adium, so we could have one app to talk all the protocols.

I'm not sure what you're referring to with two non-interoperable message apps named Messenger? There was MSN Messenger/.NET Messenger/Windows Messenger/Windows Live Messenger, but those were interoperable (they were the same thing, just updates). They also managed to wrangle compatibility with Yahoo Messenger (although by then no one I knew still used Yahoo), and apparently Facebook Messenger, and then did a crappy merger/migration to Skype.

I'd go back to those days in a heartbeat, and I was there.

NT had a built in messenger service that operated on named pipes. It was one of those services you disabled as soon as you could.

To be fair, it was a local network toy, more akin to "talk" or "finger" in Unix.

I got into so much trouble as a kid for abusing that...

net send *

Trillian before that

Pidgin (called Gaim) released December 31, 1998 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pidgin_(software)

Trillian (propritary) released July 1, 2000 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trillian_(software)

and ICQ long before that …

ICQ is not the same thing, that one used a single protocol. Pidgin/Adium/Trillian was able to talk with ICQ users and others without installing several applications.

I had to support live meeting in a 80k seat org at the time and it was an awful piece of software. Quite often it would fail to launch, the Outlook plugin would fail to load. You could spend hours playing with registry settings, app config trying to get the plug-in to launch. Live meeting was terrible and deserves to be fired into the sun.

Skype for Business (SfB) was not renamed Teams, the two products are completely unrelated, beyond Teams being a successor product to SfB.

Although there was a little bit of integration between SfB and Skype, (and between SfB and Teams as well) - so could communicate from one to the other.

Although Skype for Business Online was phased out in favour of Teams, the on-prem version still exists, probably for those customers that cannot/will not use Teams for regulatory/compliance reasons, and no end of life date has been announced for the on-prem version yet.

Microsoft also had MindAlign, which was an excellent no-nonsense group chat originally spun off from UBS (!) and widely liked by its users at various big firms, mostly banks- basically it was like IRC with management tools and record keeping added to meet compliance and audit needs. Bits got folded into Lync/ Skype for Business but those were never as good and certain customers are still using the original product.

I work at a bank and we currently (but for how long??) use Symphony which is "Slack but for finance"


It's way better than teams in core features, although integrations are missing, and it doesn't have call functionality.

Goldmans’ response to Bloomberg reporters looking at stuff they shouldn’t have… Symphony is pretty good. It does have video calling but I think many customers opt not to use it.

TIL people in the US use SMS

Why don't people use it elsewhere? I know that WhatsApp is dominant, but why?

Unlimited texting plans were rare in some parts of the world. If you need to pay 9 cents per text, WhatsApp is a godsend. I even had to pay for receiving texts or pay a premium on sending texts when being abroad (which happens much more often in Europe). My understanding is that during the same time period, unlimited texting in the USA was pretty much expected. Luckily, we now have free roaming in the EU, so we don't have to worry about extra charges when using the mobile internet, but I still have to be careful when visiting Switzerland (which, again, is just a 2h drive for me).

Interesting, given that SMS originated in Europe.

It's really convenient for travel, you don't need to pay international rates for SMS, just connect to free wifi and you're golden. If/When you buy a local SIM card, people can still reach how they used too, they don't need to text a new number. When you change your number for some reason, you don't need to message everyone that you have a new number etc.

Because SMS is terrible as a text standard, and people want to use a rich messanger. SMS was used when there wasn't much alternative as Nokias didn't have great app support. People already knew of better things and used ICQ, MSN Messager et al. even without being technically inclined. The limitation was the platform.

It's also why iMessage hasn't taken off. We are used to things working cross platform, the iMessage lock-in doesn't interest people as it isn't providing much convenience for its limitations.

SMS are quite expensive, if your destination has another phone provider they can be even more expensive.

In italy we do ample use of sending audio messages. This doesn't work with sms.

What other replies already said, plus the UX. If they could write WhatsApp (or Telegram) using SMS and their multimedia siblings (can't even remember the name) as transport, then maybe people with unlimited SMS plans could use it. But the standard SMS app UX is so much worse than the UX of those chats. Add groups and all the other features. SMS are to get notifications from banks and credit cards :-)

I add a data point on costs and volumes. I have a 90 GB monthly data cap on my phone but I have only either 100 or 1000 free SMS per month, can't remember because I don't use them. I'm probably not sending 1000 messages per month (but it's only 33 per day), definitely more than 100. I don't want to discover that I run out of messages on the 22nd of September so I won't be using them as a hidden transport in a chat app.

Hard to say, they were all the rage and suddenly just kinda stopped being used (their only purpose now I believe is 2FA, and spam). One reason I can think of is chat history syncing between devices

Wasn't it originally because carriers used to charge per SMS message? Whereas you could send a message with very little data usage, and mostly for free when on WiFi.

where i live (western europe), the telco's overcharged for sms, making a decent conversation costs euros each. Whatsapp + wifi is free.

I heard that originally sms wasn't meant to be a consumer product, it was just so technicians could test or communicate. Then the telco's realized people like texting more than calling (people prefer async sometimes, weird because comms mainly developed from async to sync), and decided to charge a limb for it.

In reality it is more async than texting that please people because nowadays most people use whatsapp as a walkie-talkie over internet.

Where I live (also Western Europe), pretty much everyone has unlimited free texts included in whatever telco plan they have

A combination of less iPhone dominance, different data/sms rates and other factors.

Let me turn that around to answer your question: Why isn't the technology behind SMS used for internet?

SMS is universal and free in the US, and you don't have to juggle a bunch of different messaging services.

It's funny, I have used Communicator/Lync and I remember everyone hated it, including the CEO which was a MS fan, which was the reason why we started using it in the first place. I remember it not being even able to sync presence status properly. We switched quickly to Hipchat, which was not great, but felt like an improvement at the time ^^

Isn't teams just a reskinned SharePoint with messenging and conference capabilities added? Does it use tech from the Skype acquisition?

I do remember everybody using Skype, it was so popular it created a verb of its own, we used to skype with each other. Microsoft paid what was an enormous amount for it back then, then basically let it rot. Really surprising.

Every "team" you make in Teams is a SharePoint site on the backend. Every "channel' under a "team" is a sub-folder on the SharePoint site. Each time you upload files to a "channel" via the "files" tab, it goes into the Documents area on that SharePoint site[1].

The exception for this, is private channels (the ones with little padlocks next to their names). These are created in their own isolated SharePoint site outside of the parent "teams" SharePoint site. It's done this way because the access security around teams/channels is the SharePoint security system. It's a totally nuts way to do it.

Teams is basically built using existing MS technologies in the same way that incorrect LEGO bricks can be forced together if you try hard enough.

I don't think MS have the ability to build an application from ground up anymore.


[1] The one upside of this, is that if you only care about the files held in Teams, you can "Sync" the site to your PC, and it appears as a virtual folder in File Explorer.

> Microsoft paid what was an enormous amount for it back then, then basically let it rot.

They didn't just let it rot. They actively ruined it.

Don't forget the Microsoft acquisition of Groove Networks [1] which was a prescient, but failed, app in team collaboration with a P2P serverless approach.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groove_Networks?wprov=sfla1

Those messenger programs were ahead of their time.

Even today they feel modern.

I still remember the jingle : " ta-dat-dat " with the screen shaking.

The tube monitors with that square screens, that could heat a whole room.

Nudges IIRC they were called.

I remember using cheat engine and sending infinite nudges to friends. Good times.

Skype for business is just a rebranded Lync it has nothing to do with the Skype for consumers.

You forgot that MS also bought GroupMe and it somehow still exists.

Text communcation with Lync was the same as MSN Messenger, super basic. No chat history, no channels. I wouldn't say it's any better than Teams.

Once the beancounters discover that you can make money with a piece of software, the game is over.

My 2 cents of venting on this sorry excuse of software

- Backtick formatting in a chat post only works after typing the closing backtick, deleting it, re-typing it

- Text copied from a conversation is polluted with names and time stamps. "I really want this feature" said nobody ever

- The mute/unmute button is hard to find, I don't think I've ever attended a Teams meeting without someone struggling with this. Teams should change its name to "You're on mute"

- Multiple windows, I never know which is the 'main' window, which is the meeting window, where are they, which has focus

- Too hard to know which chat you're replying to, who is in it

- Updates in chats are not consistently acknowledged, you have to change focus, and back again. Even then the "Activity" tab still shows unread items that I have read

- Random crashing

- Random communication freezes, everyone else is chatting, I don't see any updates nor notification of any problems until I restart the app

- "Reply" is sometimes in the chat context menu, sometimes not.

- Media handling is inconsistent, sometimes I can't paste photos, sometimes I can

- The size of the text chat column in a meeting cannot be changed and is very narrow, forcing you to find the same chat in the 'main' window

I'll add more:

- Fries CPU and GPU on video calls, making it difficult to use other applications or demo when screensharing

- Interacts unfavourably with at least some WiFi drivers leading to unidirectional and bidirectional losses of connectivity

- Copy and paste randomly break so you can't copy content from Teams or paste anything into it; applies to both text and images

- Doesn't honour setting not to automatically restart which makes it hard to kill when it needs to be restarted

- Automatic restart means it often restarts before it's cleanly shutdown leading to reoccurrence of the problem you tried to kill it for in the first place, or other random bugs and instabilities

- Too slow to start up and load channels: show the cached content immediately - stop blocking on bloody network calls like it's the 1980s and you've never written any code that calls over a network before

- Causes system instability on video calls with multiple participants

- No feedback on image paste/upload: is it uploading or not? You don't know. Leads to images that you thought hadn't worked just randomly appearing in the middle of typing - not very helpful. Put a placeholder (ideally correctly sized) where the image will go on the client whilst it's uploading and then get out of the way.

- Doesn't seem to be possible to resize/rescale images

Could think of plenty more but I should do some work.

(And, despite all of the above, it's still probably the best of a bad bunch - Hangouts call quality is often terrible, and Zoom is just a complete mess when it comes to anything beyond the basic video calling functionality.)

Here's some more:

- eats your battery like nothing else. Got charge? Not if teams has anything to do about it. Discord does more, at better quality and doesn't eat that much power.

- has some bizarre interaction with the volume slider: clicking it mutes just the teams call, but sliding the volume controls alters the volume level of the whole computer. Why?

- cuts off the sides of video, because it defaults to "fit video", so too bad to anyone sitting at the side of the camera, no way to change the setting, so you have to change it by. hand. for. every. video. feed. every. single. call.

- insists on continuing to send you notifications for that re-occuring marketing meeting you were in once, 6 months ago, but notifications for the link your teammates posted in the chat of the call you are currently in, are apparently not worthy of delivery.

- inexplicably defaults to using non-native notifications (on Mac OS), not sure why they felt the need to BYO awful notification system on an OS that has one built in, but it's awful.

- sends you a notification about a meeting starting, with a join button. when you hover your mouse over the join button, the notification disappears. the meeting is nowhere to be found. you have to got to outlook calendar and join the meeting from there

- sometimes the same meeting ends up existing twice with the same name, with half the participants in here, the other half back there

- when your internet is bad, you can no longer hear the speaker talking, but the video feeds of 5 other participants all run fine

- when I join a call with a built-in microphone and a webcam microphone attached, teams pre-selects the webcam microphone, but sends the sound of no microphone at all. I have to go the hidden away settings, change to the built-in microphone and back to the webcam microphone to make it work.

- a few versions ago, teams would hammer microsoft servers with multiple authentication requests per second, eating a lot of CPU and bandwidth, but there's no indication of anything going on in the UI - you are still logged in and everything works normally.

- powerpoint presentations sometimes work, sometimes all you get to see is a black rectangle

- uploading files is extremely buggy, and it's not always clear if it did work or not.

- Difficult to permanently delete entire chat history

- Odd behavior when using smartphone and desktop app at the same time - sometimes calls accepted on desktop are still ringing on mobile.

- Slow scroll back to history in chat.

- Message-Image size (height) limit is small

- Message length maximum is far too small

- When sharing a whole screen or a window, the teams application is forcibly minimised, regardless of whether teams in on that display or not.

Thank you all so much for this list! It's really going to come in handy with my custom Teams client, OperCom! https://opercom.co.uk

This is the kind of website design I can get behind.

Haha thanks, sadly it's probably going to have to change for something a bit more visually appealing.

The audio part drives me crazy. Why does it have to re-implement its own volume controls, device settings, and mixer and completely ignore the OS counterparts? On windows if the OS doesn't do what they need they could just walk over (ok drive over) to the windows guy's office and ask for it. I guess they could also send them a message on Teams but then they would never see it.

It's written like a computer game from the 1990s. For unfathomable reasons, it takes "full control" of your audio stack. I want to say.. ha-ha... for performance reasons, but we all know that can't possibly be true.

The trick here for everyone being driven mad by Teams randomly overriding system settings is that for each audio device there's a setting miles deep in the legacy control panel called:

    "Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device"
Untick that, and then Teams won't have the permission to change system-wide settings. In practice, nothing else needs this permission anyway, unless you're doing some sort of low-latency audio capture with professional tools or whatever.

> cuts off the sides of video

this is the same in skype. i never even knew it's a thing until i right clicked on the video feed. this is some microsoft fetish ux from hell.

It makes sense. Teams is skype under the hood.

Don't forget the massive memory use, oh and now there's TWO versions of teams - one for 'work or school' accounts and one for other Microsoft accounts. What a great idea said nobody ever.

upvote for the two different teams, like wtf...

also, there is no version that installs in a system directory (bad for deployment), and the deployment version is terrible (it downloads and installs teams every time a user logs in).

requires tracking protection to be cut for microsoft websites on linux

super buggy and unusable on linux

It's usable on Linux, I use it all day, every day. I just don't know why the Linux client is so far behind the web client despite being an electron app.

> I just don't know why the Linux client is so far behind the web client despite being an electron app

My friend, this Linux user since the 1990s would like a word.

We have Zoom in the office and the meeting room kit is fantastic. I just need to be in the room, open Zoom on my laptop and click Share Screen and it shares to the screen in the room. Never had such an easy time of it.

My favorite one is that when someone "likes" or use whatever "emotion" on your message, even if you are currently taking to the person, you need to click "activity" page in order to clear that notification and then come back

Scrolling up and back down will also clear the notification.

It is very annoying. Thankfully, there is an option to turn these notifications off.

I turned this off somewhere in the options. You can too.


Oh god the searching

It's so bad it must be actively designed to not work.

Find a result that is outside the current cached chats and want to see the posts around it for context? Just click the result... To show only the result on page?? Lol gfy, you have to manually scroll allllllllll the way back through months of texts.

Let's lump together text chats meeting chats, org chart and sharepoint/teams files, and make a totally useless search function that actively hates users.

I thought the search was shit, but it's actually way worse. If the specific message you are looking for is more than 90 days old, it WILL NOT show up in the search results. This is hard coded into teams. They are intentionally crippling the usefulness of their application. It can only be because they are mentally retarded.

- images are deepfried when pasted into chats

- can't copy an image from a chat and use it elsewhere; you have to find the download button, download it, go to your download folder, so people just screenshot the image in chat

cmd+tab only works on mac until you've received one notification, after that focus goes to an invisible window.

Most frustrating for me is that I receive no call notifications. Well, sometimes I do, but most of the time I do not and I need to wait until a call has been missed before I see who’s called. Unless I happen to be in the chat window of the person who’s calling…then I can see the “join call” button active.

It’s maddening and IT can’t solve it properly, and I’m not the only one at my company having this issue.

Utter garbage app and user experience.

Edit: even worse is if I’m being called into an existing group call…there’s no way to accept.

Yeah. I log in and type "Morning" as is the routine in our main channel.

Then over the next two hours I get 30 notifications about people liking my comment and nothing for anything actually useful, like calls. It doesn't even pretend to let me turn off notifications for reactions without losing the whole channel's notifications.

You can disable reaction notifications globally in Settings -> Notifications -> Chat. Doesn't help if you only want them for some channels though.

That's set to off. I still get them though...

Yup, I have the same, to the point where (corp office) I have to run Skype solely to know when I have an incoming call as it has a proper, working notification mechanism.

I think that's something that actively broken, the android app says in a red banner that call notifications are not delivered.

I had a period of several weeks where most days my arrow keys would just stop working. I could Ctrl+arrow to jump words or Shift+arrow to highlight, but just an arrow key by itself? Nope.

My biggest gripe though is just the sluggishness in every single thing. It’s like there’s a 500ms minimum latency for any action you can perform in the app. Truly miserable bit of software.

I always wonder how the dev teams feel on projects like this. They just know they’re shipping garbage, surely?

To make the TEAMs experience even worse, our IT department, okay at the behest of the legal team, put a policy in place that removes chat history older than 24 hours thus removing the last shred of utility from the product.

> Text copied from a conversation is polluted with names and time stamps. "I really want this feature" said nobody ever

I want this feature in any "enterprise" chat app. In fact, more often than not if I copy multiple messages from multiple authors I want to have author/time metadata. For the very same reason we leave replied-to content in emails.

I agree that there should be mechanism to copy text only and even a setting to chose the default behavior.

Sure, if you're copying multiple messages in a conversation. Otherwise you're still able to select the name and time along with the message. Hijacking my clipboard with data I have not selected can fuck off.

This. No app should be futching with the text I select to copy. It's like those damn websites who use JS to add crap to text copied from their pages.

In case of a single message yes. I guess sane default behavior is to copy content only with single message and content+metadate with multiple messages.

I guess we are in agreement then

> - Media handling is inconsistent, sometimes I can't paste photos, sometimes I can

I think this has something to do with the input format of the file being pasted. I’ve been able to work around this by first copying the image I want to share into WordPad and then into Teams.

I also don’t know if this is a policy set by my IT department to reduce the bandwidth consumption from external aniGIFs.

You missed the best ones:

- Your avatar not showing for you but showing for everyone else

- Messages randomly disappearing from DM history (they're supposed to be stored locally, so I don't even know how this happens)

- Entire contacts disappearing (if they're in a group chat, they'll show up as "Unknown User")!

- Editing a message where you've attached a picture and then it says "Uh oh, we lost your attachment. Please attach it again." (Not helped by the fact that Windows lacks a clipboard history, like KDE has.)

- Once, parts of the GUI just failed to load, so all buttons and many elements rendered as text labels reflecting variable names. Menus exploded to gigantic size since a small button was now "foo_bar_widget_doohickey" and it broke the layout badly. It was pretty funny.

(And this is all native! Native app on Windows. Not the web app.)

I've never seen any software this buggy. I've been using IMs for like 20 years now, and Teams sets a new, utterly unparalleled bar for dysfunctionality.

- The mute/unmute button is hard to find, I don't think I've ever attended a Teams meeting without someone struggling with this. Teams should change its name to "You're on mute"

As far as the keyboard's concerned I think it's three buttons - something like cmd-shift-m where on Slack it's just m. Drives me mad.

- Web interface is not supported on Firefox, last I tried.

I try and avoid installing native clients for occasional uses.

I run Linux and just keep all these apps on my iPad. If I need to demo software, oh well. Zoom runs way better on Linux natively. Teams is a joke.

Something I discovered after switching to Windows: MS Teams eats the ctrl+shift+S shortcut while it's in the background, so I cannot use it anymore in other applications. It literally makes other apps stop working properly. Sigh.

the markdown like editing is horrible, why is it so hard to implement a few basic formatting options? especially using `backticks` which unless written in one go doesn't work. There was a good few months where lists (-/*) or quote blocks (>) didn't work at all unless selected with mouse, and it would drive me crazy. I used to try to contact support about it but they were always useless. search sometimes finds the message I was looking for but clicking on it never works. wiki isn't editable on mobile. and on computer it's buggy.

- Last time I tried it didn't support screensharing on Wayland.

- When you paste a link and press enter to send, it doesn’t send immediately and instead sends randomly after a few seconds

- This means if you were typing a follow up message your messages will look like this:

> Hey visit this cool site: https://news.ycombinator.com/ It has al

>l these cool discussions about tech!

- @name stops working if you leave it running for a while

- Image uploads to a chat failing for no apparent reason

- No obvious way of sharing/reposting an image or document from another chat

> - The size of the text chat column in a meeting cannot be changed and is very narrow, forcing you to find the same chat in the 'main' window

So evidently chats CAN be narrow if they want but god forbid you want to shrink down any of the windows to park on the edge of your secondary monitor. Why is the minimum window size so goddam huge?

Things I like (What?):

Ctrl-Shift-V pastes into TEAMs with no formatting. Should be part of the OS. Contrary to WebEx (what we came from for meetings), joining a TEAMs meeting from both PC and phone joins you as one participant, not 2.

> Ctrl-Shift-V pastes into TEAMs with no formatting. Should be part of the OS.

Pasting without formatting should be the default behaviour. Ctrl-Shift-V should be for people who want the shitty version.

Probably not intentional.

I don't think I saw anyone mention it but you can't copy PNGs from a web page and paste them into Teams.

If I want to share graphs from LibreNMS with my team, I have to use the screenshot tool.

This happens because of how Microsoft approaches product development and design. On many product teams, PMs end up doing not only the product design decisions but even designs much of the products themselves.

This works for them because it focuses product cycles on releasing what "matters" to the customer, but it ends up cutting craft and quality. This makes their products poor to use, but is also what drives revenue into their hands.

They don't really need to be the best or the fastest. They just have to have decent products that aren't the worst (I prefer Teams over Webex), and glom those products together into an affordable package.

For better or worse, Microsoft product suites are like the Olive Garden of the product world.

edit: whoa, got more comments than I thought. For disclosure, I did a brief stint as a PM intern there way back in the day. Wanted to join as a UX designer intern, but got shoe-horned into the PM role

I suggest that Teams only gets used because it’s included in the enormous license that companies buy for Exchange and/or Office and the most popular alternative has its own fees. Large companies don’t want to fork over another licensing fee in the tens of thousands of dollars for Slack when they’re getting Teams “free.”

I work for an outsourced tech company supporting a large system of hospitals in the NE USA.

In my team of 50+ people, the last 2 years since starting this contract have been steady transition to using Teams for all communications. They are now moving to use it for scheduling as well with it being integrated with the rest of the Office suite.

Moreover, the entire hospital system uses it as the defacto means of communication. This makes it incredibly easy to connect with any of the thousands of employees we have immediately in a lot ways.

I don't like Teams or the office suite whatsoever. However, I think the real secret to their sauce is simple: > Ecosystem integration > Cram every feature possible into each product

Those two things alone can makeup for all the deficiencies in Microsoft's products within the marketplace. Their software may be clunky, buggy, and terrible to use but if you have those two factors it will stay dominant imo.

It's not only the cost, but it's having to deal with another vendor and maintain another system, interoperability, security, access, etc.

Exactly. Nobody likes it. We use it because we have to. We have to because it was already paid for.

Also, most users haven't ever experienced software that's any better, with a few rare exceptions such as Excel. We programmers have it so good. "How can people put up with such bad software" is a recurring theme, and not unique to Teams or even Microsoft.

Everybody I know has used Zoom at this point, and has thus seen what dead-simple and "just works" telecom software can be (not to mention FaceTime, which seems to revel in "your never-owned-a-computer grandparent is happy to use this").

If you think zoom "just works" I'm guessing you haven't seen the quagmire of poor decisions masquerading as code that is zoom on the Linux desktop.

Still better than teams though. (With the caveat that it's only useable on Chrome).

I use Teams in enterprise, and Zoom for college. At this point I pretty firmly believe Zoom is hot garbage. Teams syncs with Outlook, and basically every org I interacts with uses Outlook and has Office365 at this point.

Teams hasn't been crashy, is responsive, doesn't eat memory, etc. At this point I personally cannot point to why there is so much hate for Teams. Either that or my organisation is doing something well to make it work well.

It works pretty well for us in these respects too.

The chat is fucking useless though. We use Slack for that.

Dead simple is something like Meet. Click a link and you're on a video call with nothing to install. On iOS, FaceTime is also great.

Zoom is a dumpster fire.

I’ve had lots of small annoying problems with Meet and find that the only people who use it are Googlers.

The managers that force this horseshit on they employees never used anything else before the pandemic. Suddenly they also had to use something with that function, already had Teams and now forced everyone to use it as a lowest common denominator.

At least, that's my hypothesis. It's the preinstalled browser debacle all over again.

right and it’s integrated with Sharepoint, Outlook and OneDrive.

And those are in the same boat as Teams: it came with the bundle. (well, one could argue that plenty of people enjoy Outlook, but OneDrive is nothing special and SharePoint is just a bad Wiki going the SAP integration hell route)

SharePoint gives you versioned file storage that searches inside of files. It's a big step up from a network drive or whatever.

(and that's just the really basic out of the box usage)

So in essence, a bad wiki but with WebDAV ;-) But I was mostly talking about the "everything is different, from the rest of the MS ecosystem" and "everything you really want you have to bolt on".

When you use M365 you even get multiple sharepoint-esque instances where there is the subscription one that you get in your general web interface, there is "your own" instance which is the same but more primitive, and then there is a pseudo-instance which is used by all apps (even the web apps) to sort-of aggregate them with infinite loops as a result (some of the interfaces allow you to browse between the instances so you can to into a virtual directory, then go into the same directory but in the other instance, and from there to into yet the same directory again but in the other instance, and so forth).

I find Shareapoint versioning pretty terrible in that it versions every change and doesn’t let me do tags or releases. So with office auto save I’ll have 700 versions of a file as people changed one sentence a minute for a few hours.

I actually prefer a network drive over SharePoint because there are fewer lock and sync issues.

Especially compared to Dropbox or Google Drive (or even OneDrive) it’s so hard to use for file sharing.

I literally would prefer mediawiki from the 2000s in terms of ui and support ability.

If you turn on minor versions there is a publish function, which is close enough to a release.

I use OneDrive as my cloud storage provider. To me cloud storage from the top-tier vendors seem to work well enough at this point. I probably would’ve used Google Drive, but once I learned they take it out of your Gmail storage space I declined. To Microsoft’s credit, your OneDrive storage space does not come out of your app Outlook email storage.

Yeah, they are all pretty similar. The storage usage is probably due to Google's gigantic user base, or perhaps due to their tenancy model (i.e. you get a 'google account' that also contains 'storage' instead of the other way around).

While some features like versioning and sharing and mail integration vary, nearly all of the 'big' ones do the same thing (OneDrive, iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, even box.com and MEGA to some extent).

Ironically, this sameness might actually be a good thing, as it makes it a bit more interchangeable (well, if we ignore the variety in native integrations), it would be pretty bad if there were significant missing features between them.

I do still keep my Dropbox because it has better sharing features. But I only use that with my wife and we haven’t used it to collaborate since she finished her Masters degree. If anyone has the edge with features, it probably is them. Some of the lesser known names I have accounts worth as well, but they’ve had sketchier history with storage issues. OneDrive simply gave me the most space for free, and I usually pimp myself out to the highest bidder.

I think it goes beyond just the licensing fee. It makes compliance/on-boarding significantly easier to have everything bundled. If you're using Exchange/Office, you've already vetted Microsoft for your use case.

This. We asked about non-Teams alternatives, and were told we'd be responsible for hosting and maintaining anything else we chose by our IT department, and that was the end of that conversation.

I think Teams also offers more capabilities to Enterprise users. I’ve been on a few teams calls with people on the call that are not visible in the attendee list.

I have also experienced this but I'm quite sure that it was a bug in my cases. Is this actually a service they offer?

Bingo. That's the simple and real answer. They invest heavily in sales and lock in big corporates into their ecosystem. Now, they don't have any incentive than to go the extra mile for somehting like Teams. I think it will hurt them in the long run, but in the short term, it's quite profitable probably.

Good summary of this on the All In Podcast last week (in the context of Adobe buying Figma) https://youtu.be/_UpczzfeAFA?t=1162

I think it also has to do with how much money Microsoft is kicking back to the right people in those companies to evangelize Microsoft despite knowing that it sucks.

In Africa they even fired a employee that discovered a kickback scheme, when he tried to scale the matter up to Satya Nadella: https://www.engadget.com/whistleblower-says-microsoft-spent-...

I've known about it and seen it happen but rarely do you get enough evidence to do anything about it. It appears when you do then Microsoft will just fire you and put out a public statement pretending that something will change.

For this reason the US military said NO to Microsoft [1]

The more the deep state (nothing about conspiracy theory, it's just the people at the oval office, and their surroundings, mostly industry lobby) want to trust and push Microsoft, the worse it's going to get in the coming years were AI, software and hardware will be the deciding factor for the civilization war we are currently living

> Microsoft insiders worry the Pentagon may walk away from its $22 billion contract for mixed-reality goggles as the device continues to disappoint the military

[1] https://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-military-hololens-...

We need another less polarized word than deep state to describe the various industrial complexes entrenched in military & government, and the revolving door of employment between government -> lobbyists -> industry etc.

I think "military–industrial complex" is the typical term.

It is, but despite it being coined by a former US President and WW2 Allied General, it is now taken to mean something akin to "defund the military".

Eisenhower wasn't exactly praising it when he coined the term, and the military and military-industrial-complex are different things. You can support one but not the other, although most people who use it in conversation tend to be against both, since it's implicitly pejorative.

It has a bad rap because of the lobbying that defense companies do to ensure their profits are fed by the government. Oh and the wars.

I'd say they're equivalent to Big Pharma or Big Oil - all of which have captured any regulatory agency designed to control their misbehaviors.

Could you clarify? I'm having trouble understanding the equivalency because "Military industry complex" is a noun and "defund the military" is a verb (more-or-less)

I believe rchaud meant that the set of people using the term "military industrial complex" has a large overlap with the set of people demanding to "defund the military".

For those unfamiliar with it, it was President Eisenhower's farewell speech:


In what circles does it mean that? I’ve never heard that one.

Among politicians. Military spending is the one thing that never sees top-line cuts, even among so-called fiscal conservatives in Congress that are otherwise happy to slash "wasteful" federal funding for social programs.

You can lobby all you want to cut other types of government 'pork', and you'll probably have some champions in Congress on the same page. Only the military is untouchable. It's un-American to even consider cuts in that sector.

Or we need to stop banning words because people we don't like start using them (correctly, I might add.) It's annoying that once some people started saying that the country was run by a deep state populated by communist lizard child molesters, the reaction was to start insisting that there wasn't a deep state at all.

Maybe we can say military-industrial complex? Nice, venerable, well-established phrase, notably popularized by a president during his final words as a president.

> Or we need to stop banning words because people we don't like start using them (correctly, I might add.)

Who is banning words? At least in the US you have every right to say 'deep state' all you want but it probably doesn't mean in other people's minds what you might want anymore. I mean, it's the way of language evolution that when a phrase picks up a much different and negative connotation from what it had previously people stop using it.

Military didn’t say no. Congress stepped in and demanded accountability. Military is still having wet dreams about IVAS (military version of hololens). Last I heard was an initial purchase for 1,000(?) units to continue testing. Also the military loves Office 365 and Teams. Everything is done through it now, of course nobody knows how to use collaboration tools and there is no training, so they still email PowerPoints all over the place.

Unfortunatley like many of the other comments have pointed out. This is incorrect. Most of the military currently uses Teams and O365. The military deal for hololens is going through and the shipments are greater thant he initial order. That information is dated.

I swear I saw a recent article saying they were moving forward.



Looks like Microsoft will have to do in the matter of keeping the state from being too efficient.

Lol.. we all know Microsoft gets these contracts by rubbing shoulders with the right people and they have very little to do with whether the products are actually good.

For the record, have you actually eaten at Olive Garden recently? Their food is actually pretty fantastic. Some of the best Chicken Parm. Definitely better than Teams. Please don’t insult Olive Garden like this.

No. No, this is not true. I think Olive Garden’s food is about parity with Stouffer’s chicken parm.

Any bad Italian restaurant microwaving stuff is better than Olive Garden.

I like their breadsticks but everything else should not be eaten by humans.

The “just good enough” doesn’t always work out for MS.

We Teams as part of whatever bundle MS pushes for OS, Office etc, but no one uses Teams, we use zoom. A few people use slack, but it’s not pervasive.

If it wasn’t so buggy and non-performant, does it offer any other advantages or “killer features” by virtue of tighter integration to the MS ecosystem?

I agree for the most part except the lack of stability and resiliency. I joined a company using Teams 3 months ago and there has been at least one global outage once a month… that’s 3 more outages than I experienced with Slack for the last 2 years or more maybe?

Because it doesn't need to improve. It just needs to check some checkboxes. It's "free" as part of Microsoft Office 365. It allows the IT department to check a checkbox and de-incentivize them from looking at Slack. With Slack you have to pay for and is yet another app to administer. Many IT departments who are already Microsoft customers will have an easier time rolling that out than a new app. No new purchase order nor legal review. Microsoft just needs to suck the air out of Slack to "win". Any additional investment by Microsoft is wasted.

Right, every Fortune 500 company already has a msft office contract. Getting everyone on teams is as easy as an IT guy clicking a box and everyone has it on their computer. Doesn’t have to be a great product when it’s that easy to start using. Really Microsoft’s entire company revolves around this “lock them in and utilize our relationship to grow new products” strategy.

Hmm, but many of those companies probably have a Salesforce contract too. What do you think will happen if/when SF bundles Slack?

I think Salesforce isn't used/needed so much like MS Office. MS Office is needed for interoperability but Salesforce is for internal.

SF is also thousands of dollars a license, office365 is maybe a hundred. So everyone gets o365 but only people who need access have SF.

That's why, I believe, Slack had filed an antitrust claim against Microsoft [1] claiming that Teams has an unfair advantage by being bundled in the O365 package which make the chance to pick Slack over Teams for companies already purchased O365 near to zero.

The claim is two years old now and I haven't heard any news regarding the matter and whether Slack proceeded to the end like Epic Vs. Apple or not

[1] https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-53503710

It's actually not free as part of all Office 365 plans, sadly. We discovered recently that we'd either have to downgrade(!!!) to the version with only web apps, or upgrade to the version with Exchange, to get teams. (Or, better yet, pay for a Teams-specific license since it's $0.25 cheaper than getting Exchange...)

Of course, the whole reason that we were looking at it is that one vendor who says they prefer Teams for some reason, even though we already pay for both Google Meet and Zoom.

Teams is decent as a chat client. Zoom is more of a meeting client (it has chat feature but I’ve never met anyone who uses them).

Its not decent, its usable.

Decent would be able to switch chat tabs in under a second, reliable quoting (one minute ``` works, next minute it doesn't), an unread messages view like slack, and overall not being a laggy piece of crap.

It gets the job done, but its not decent.

And the splitting of Teams/chat is really confusing. At least in my org the teams feature is rarely used, but we have chat groups for everything.

Other than that agree that it’s too slow to load chats, unread notifications doesn’t go away reliably, search sucks etc.

For some reason you cannot create threads in chat groups but you can in Teams feature.

Yep, wasted some time on this at work recently too - 365 Apps for Business doesn't include Teams, strangely, despite that the cheaper 'Microsoft 365 Business Basic' does.


It's the iPhone effect: If you use Teams, and something goes wrong, everybody is patient and sympathetic. If you use something else, then it's your fault for being "weird" or "cheap." In my case, my computer came from IT, pre-loaded with Teams, and it runs nearly flawlessly.

But I've noticed something else about computers and software. You can have two people with similar jobs, similar computers, similar software, etc. One person will have crashes and problems all the time, and the other person, smooth sailing. Nobody knows why. It doesn't matter whether they're IT experts or homemakers. In the words of a former office-mate: "I got a new computer, and spent two days setting it up exactly the way I want it, and yet it still crashes all the time." That person was a very sharp and productive programmer, yet he was swearing at his computer almost continually.

> You can have two people with similar jobs, similar computers, similar software, etc. One person will have crashes and problems all the time, and the other person, smooth sailing. Nobody knows why.

Imo this is just a result of the chaotic, unreproducible install processes typical for proprietary software and a hesitancy to do root cause analysis on a workstation when you have time pressures to focus on other things.

The deep mystery of 'no one knows why' when it comes to issues is something I've never experienced on a personal Linux machine as an adult. But most of us work on machines where software installers can do whatever they want, we don't control the software update cadence, and our computers are bogged down with all kinds of instrumentation (AV, privilege management, data exfiltration monitoring, etc.) that affects performance and compatibility in complex ways and whose configuration we may have limited capacity to inspect or modify.

The hopeless sense of mystification here is not a fact of computing. It's a function of being alienated from our computing environments. We don't have to work this way, and I wish we didn't. But we largely do.

It's also a lot tougher to do a root cause analysis when there's no source, fifty layers of framework, and anemic documentation.

Which applies to nearly 100% of modern software. (Including Linux distros and a lot of their required software, other than the source bit...)

In recent years, I found things have actually gotten better than ever. Most root cause analysis that I have done has been boiling down to malfunctioning hardware far more than software issues. Usually software issues stem from flaky hardware. People just never get it figured out and blame it on Microsoft or someone else’s software.

Of course, someone would debate that with me, but before the Windows NT kernel took over, I had to format to solve problems sometimes. I haven’t had to do that a single time since Windows 7. I ran eight or nine years on one Windows 7 install.

I don't think that's the full story. On Mac, which is way harder to break than linux, teams is atrocious. I don't know the teams experience on Linux or Windows but just using it on Mac is terrible enough.

lol... harder to break.


I use Linux on every single personal computer and server, and I have been for over 10 years. I love Linux and can't use anything else, but I'm not doing it any favors by pretending it isn't easy to break. Full /boot partition, broadcom WiFi drivers, and anything Nvidia are some of the examples that can cause your computer to just stop working at any time. That doesn't include any of the thousand ways you can mess up configuration too. /etc/sudoers, grub.cfg, Xorg.conf

Yeah that’s just not true. We run fleets, 10000s of users in virtual machines. From standard, optimized base images.

I can tell you from experience that issues stay well in known boundaries. I can tell which users will have issues and with what, by just looking at their installed applications.

Where things begin to fall off, users that want to be admins, developers that deploy random stuff. Power users in general are the cause of their own problems.

Developers sharp or not don’t always know how to run their own laptop. More often than not they are the cause of their problems.

There are some terrible applications out in the world. Creative cloud I’m looking at you.

Or I found this great application called Figma let me paste raw 500mb pictures & pdfs into it and watch it eat my machine alive.

Laptop & desktop hardware, Apple included, still has a huge randomness factor.

> One person will have crashes and problems all the time, and the other person, smooth sailing. Nobody knows why.


In all seriousness, it probably has to do in large part with gestures broadly global state. Registry, configuration, what else is running on the system, how up to date it is. There are so many possible different settings, parameters, processes doing weird api calls, that it's a combinatoric explosion.

Plus if you use teams on Linux, guess what's getting blamed first.

Nevermind the fact I have cross- platform issues (win/OSX/linux/android) with audio and bluetooth devices with teams...

I see that effect a lot. I’m almost always the one who has no problems. I think it’s because I have a good sense of what not to change, I google things I don’t like, I read most of the menus and I know how to back out of config I want to undo. For whatever reason, equally competent people struggle to do these things or are dismissive of them, and then take months or years to realize they’re missing something.

There is also an admirable type of person who has lots of tech problems because they’re genuinely pushing limits, but they’re rare.

Teams, over 2 years on this laptop and I think there was only one single instance of a problem. Excel, on the other hand...

That's what happens when you start fucking with defaults. You get farther and farther away from a stabile baseline. 2 days to set up a PC tells me they are just fucking with too much stuff. I have the same problem. But my parents, who aren't tech savvy, have 0 problems because they aren't fucking with the workings of their PC changing defaults and making customizations.

> . 2 days to set up a PC tells me they are just fucking with too much stuff. I have the same problem. But my parents, who aren't tech savvy, have 0 problems because they aren't fucking with the workings of their PC changing defaults and making customizations.

People have different annoyances and preferences. Perhaps you are lucky enough to be close to the default where you don't need to change so many things.

While the defaults for other is death by a thousand papercuts...

When I used to run Windows, the very first thing I would do would be to turn off all the GUI animations, and switch the desktop back to "classic Windows" desktop, resulting in a usually more stable machine.

So it depends on which direction you push the customizations.

I often find the "spent two days setting it up exactly the way I want it" means they've tweaked so many things those users didn't fully understand into incompatible setups which causes a lot of that friction, while those who just roll with mostly the defaults have much smoother sailing.

Forcing the square peg into the round hole often results in extra challenges. Sometimes its just easier to use the round peg, even if its not perfectly what you'd like.

I tend to just roll with the defaults and only change settings when I really need to. I tend to experience a good bit less friction than a lot of my coworkers who flip every switch into something other than the default.

> If you use Teams, and something goes wrong, everybody is patient and sympathetic. If you use something else, then it's your fault for being "weird" or "cheap."

Odd. I feel that people are sympathetic because everyone knows Teams is weird and cheap.

Teams certainly has a random factor to it. Perhaps it's MS' A/B testing or incrementally rolling out features? Because they definitely do that.

Laptop qc issues? Had to send back a lenovo recently as the touchscreen didn’t work. Tech packs up occasionally!

We use zoom but are switching to teams. As an engineer my absoutley must have feature is screen sharing with collaborative annotation. I waited with bated breath for the 'active annotation' feature that was on the teams roadmap for months to be released. And then it was. To my horror it was the epitome of bloat. It essentially takes a screenshot of the presenters desktop and then starts a whiteboard session. It takes a good 30 seconds to enable, and as it's a screenshot the screen being presented can no longer be interacted with until annotation is stopped. The 'active' part of the name active annotation is just adding insult to injury. It's static annotation at best. I couldnt have imagined a more poorly conceived feature, but here it is. Microsoft, please for the love of engineers fix it!

I am not a zoom user, but I do use the "write on someone else's screen" feature quite often in slack when screen-sharing, and what you're describing in teams sounds like utter crap.

Everything in Teams ranges from "utter crap" to "half assed effort but mostly still just crap". It's the most "me-too" app I've ever had the displeasure of being forced to use... sigh.

I teach visual effects and digital art. I am used to the madly compLex interfaces (Maya, Blender, Nuke etc). I have no fear of such software. But I am completely defeated by Teams.

- Why two windows when you are in a meeting? The second window is sometimes hard to find intuitively.

- Why, when opening an attachment, is the user locked out of chat? Again, with many windows open, the preview can look and function like whatever app is native to the previewed file.

- is there a way to disable camera previews when sharing screen? The two together take up way too much interface. If there is a way, I should not have to search for it.

- Upload a file to chat and sending that file are two separate actions. Why? I can’t count the number of times I have to remind students to press the send button after upload.

Also is function X under the three dot menu, the inexplicable and sometimes not there "other three dot menu", the gear, or the sidebar?

It's like $PATH, but for UI elements.

> - Why two windows when you are in a meeting? The second window is sometimes hard to find intuitively.

Seriously, that is a godsend if you are presenting a lot and have a two+ monitor setup - have the presentation up on one, still see your participants on the other one.

> - Upload a file to chat and sending that file are two separate actions. Why? I can’t count the number of times I have to remind students to press the send button after upload.

That's a safeguard. Too easy to send the wrong file. Making it a two-step process gives the user a chance to recognise a mistake and correct it.

Maybe. But in teaching, the bulk of users expect Facebook-normal behavior. Dropping a file in a FB chat places it into the chat box but does not upload. Placing it into a Teams chat box will upload the file and give the impression that the 'task is done'.

As I mentioned, in class, every single day I have to remind students to press the send button.

This tells me something very clearly: that they did not observe users actually using this app before they released it.

Hm, to me it sounds more like Microsoft Teams was not designed to be a tool for teaching, but meant to be used in Office-like environments, which have other requirements than classrooms.

Trucks are useful and many features of them make sense on a ranch - but they are cumbersome and awkward in the inner city.

> - Seriously, that is a godsend if you are presenting a lot and have a two+ monitor setup - have the presentation up on one, still see your participants on the other one.

For me, apps that spit out windows became a PITA when you have many apps open (which I always do).

Two screen benefit can be had from following the lead of an app like Resolve, which has a built-in two-screen feature.

Why not use tabs to accommodate the two functions? Or some other widget? Currently, it honestly feels like two apps stuck together. The fact that, when previewing a file, the chat window visually presents exactly as Word, Excell or whatever does not help.

Wait, the default in teams is surely not to "undock" the presentation? Its a combined window with participants and presentation/video, and the other window is just the rest of Teams...

But I do agree "undock" is awesome, its the only way to get near-fullscreen on presenations. So in this case there is actually 3 windows...

>Why two windows when you are in a meeting? The second window is sometimes hard to find intuitively.

What do you mean? Aint the icon stacked on task bar?

>Upload a file to chat and sending that file are two separate actions. Why? I can’t count the number of times I have to remind students to press the send button after upload.

I think it could be sane in such a way that you dont send something by accident

> I think it could be sane in such a way that you dont send something by accident

I understand that. However, the way they implemented it was clumsy. See my comments below. For this, this is a serios time-waster. Every day I have to remind people use this feature incorrectly.

On linux, Microsoft teams will change your system sound settings to match its preference. This includes Bluetooth headphones no longer being available to the system. Then, it decides the system settings are beneath it and will only use its own device settings. And it will decide now that your fancy Bluetooth headset is gone, there is also no need for that crappy internal microphone either, so enjoy not having any microphone. Once you get all this working through however many steps it requires of you, teams will happily forget your settings and will require you to do it all over again.

Teams binds to the previous account, so if you want to login to another account (say, if you're both a student and have a job) you have to log back in to the last account, totp and all, before you can logout and log back in to the account you want. There are no back buttons.

Teams is shit. I use it because I have to, but its ridiculous how bad the UX is and its a shame, because I think microsoft can do better.

I've heard the interoperability with teams and office365 is phenomenal though. Multiple people editing the same document, while in a call presenting that document, security of the files all settled in the cloud with easy to use interfaces. It sounds great, I don't really use any of that. To me, teams will always be a crappy voip tool.

The funniest thing on my Linux laptop is that when I check the OS-menu where I can control every Applications volume, MS Teams is diplayed as "Skype"...

I use the official Microsoft Teams Preview for Linux or whatever its called, no idea why they decided to call it Skype in the Application Settings. Can't even really be legacy stuff, as far as I know a Skype for Linux Application never even existed.

Skype has always had a Linux client. It was a nice Qt app that looked like the old Windows client. Unfortunately, it was replaced with an Electron app in 2017.

Wait, my bad, I always forget that Skype was also available for consumers, and that part definitely had a Linux client.

What I meant was Skype for Business. I had to use a Windows VM, which only use was running Skype for Business so that I could join meetings and call colleagues etc.

Install Microsoft Edge for Linux and use the web version through that.

Really, it's a great solution. I've done it for a while. I don't use edge for anything else but it runs teams.microsoft.com great

Before installing Edge I checked out the maintainer scripts bundled into its deb.

As a result I have vowed it will never sully any machine I am responsible for maintaining.

Any particular horrid details you'd like to share?

I seem to remember it messing around with libraries in /usr/lib (overwriting symlinks from other packages IIRC). Whatever problem they were trying to solve, hacking around in the postinst script with files that you don't own is not the right solution!

I do this too now (except I use the chromium skin instead of the edge skin). I think this is about the same experience minus the device and settings issues.

Also, don't try to do this with firefox: various features (such as sharing your screen) are not available in firefox.

Why Edge? It works fine in Chrome and Chromium.

I don't know if this is still the case, but Teams has a history of behaving differently based on the user agent presented. I assume they will always want to make it work "better" in Edge.

Having all of the MS junk walled off into its own browser that you use for nothing else isn't a terrible idea either, regardless.

it does not display calls notification tough.

google does all that "edit documents while on a call" too, and it's not shit.

Our gymnasium extensively uses Microsoft products - Outlook, Windows, Office, ASP.NET. We've had some proprietary software before for writing on digital touchscreen displays in classrooms, but it was ditched in favour of OneNote. Now some professors prefer to use the classic whiteboard with the regular marker due to very usual malfunctioning of the software, sudden crashes, freezes, VERY SLOW undoing times, etc.

It's the same with other Microsoft products. Like someone else said, it doesn't matter how bad they are, money streams are basically guaranteed.

It's weird how their software almost feels like shareware or debian packages lurking in the repos unchanged for 10 years, just with ads and unresponsive UI.

Students and teachers really have no interest in being informed on the bottom of the screen that it's currently raining (we have actual windows for that), nor do we care that Ethereum's Ether fell by 10% in value this day.

Such things make no sense in an educational setting. Moreover even browsing the web when the teacher wants to show us some JS animation on a website (you know, such website that doesn't get updated, yet works, it's path starts with a tilde, and is only served via plaintext http) is uncomfortable, as Edge browser starts up with a screen filled with ads and random news articles about the war in Ukraine or political situation in the US.

I went quite off course, but Teams is no different. As soon as the teacher logs in to the computer, Teams is starting to launch. Why? It would be somewhat okay if it just launched in the background, but no, after 20 seconds a Teams window opens, wastes 5 seconds of lecture time, because it doesn't immediately have the Close button drawn.

Maybe theese are all just issues our IT team could solve, but given the immense amount of money siphoned into MS both by the school and the country's educational ministry, some reasonable defaults could be expected.


Another example: In Germany (or maybe whenever the system language is German) Microsoft decided that everyone should have a ferris wheel and a brezel in their task bar because now it is Oktoberfest in Munich. Seriously? I think we have reached spam-as-an-operating-system.

My company is transitioning to Teams and I find it frustrating. So much so that I collect my complaints in a confluence page. I could be wrong on some of these, so happy to be corrected!

No links

You can’t link to conversations. This means if you want to add context to a Jira ticket or in a code comment, you can’t easily do so.

Inconsistent UI

The UI between a Teams channel and a chat with multiple people is not consistent. Direct chats:

- do not have the ability to thread; so you end up with quotes all over the place and interleaved conversations.

- don’t support ``` for code blocks. Channel chats do. Why? I have no clue.

Notifications in channels are easy to miss

It’s really easy to miss notifications from channels unless you get messaged directly about it.

The emojis are bad

They aren’t customizable, but even the ones that are available are not great.

Compared to Slack

Teams lacks these features that I find useful in Slack:

- Don’t have time to address something immediately and don’t want to forget about it? Right click → Remind me later.

- Instead of struggling to communicate a screen location, draw on the screen when a co-worker is sharing their display. Ok, Teams introduced this recently. But the first time I tried it, I ended up stuck in annotation mode and had to quit Teams to be able to interact with my applications…

- Integration with Jira for automatic linking to mentioned issues by Jira Issue Key, e.g., PROJ-123. I think this one is just a limitation because my company hasn't added the integration.

- Notifications when when activity occurs in Bitbucket or Jira. Ditto.

The hold music sucks

The music played when alone on a call sucks. I suppose this is more subjective than the rest…

>- don’t support ``` for code blocks. Channel chats do. Why? I have no clue.

In general, Teams doesn't have real markdown support. It can detect some markdown-ish syntax and replace it with its WYSIWYG stuff, but that's not the same thing (it doesn't always replace it, it doesn't handle messages sent with markdown syntax properly, it doesn't follow standard markdown syntax, and it doesn't let you edit the markdown markup).

Other issues I've had:

- Teams for desktop likes to randomly decide your microphone isn't working, and turn your audio off. The microphone works fine in literally any other program.

- Trying to close the window doesn't close it, it just minimizes it and hides it from the taskbar. It plays the minimize animation, it still shows up in alt-tab, and it stays on the same virtual desktop when reopening the window, rather than reopening on the current desktop.

- It always throws its window up when starting. There seems to be no way to make it start in the background.

-There is no way to choose spellchecker language, it's hardcoded to use the same language as the UI.

> - Teams for desktop likes to randomly decide your microphone isn't working, and turn your audio off. The microphone works fine in literally any other program.

If you're using a Mac this might be a MacOS feature/bug which you might already worked around it in another applications https://discussions.apple.com/thread/253371535

No, I'm on Linux

Don't you know that you're supposed to run Linux in WSL, and use teams outside the VM, in Windows? ;)

Those are just missing features, though!

My favorite Teams bug is when the arrow keys stop working for text navigation. They had to go out of the way to break something like that.

There’s also a bug where it will suddenly reverse text direction from left right to right left. It’s very strange.

I started Teams the other day and the whole screen was upside down as if I’d rotated my surface. Just Teams - every other application was fine.

Doesn’t matter… teams is free with an office 365 subscription and slack is not, therefore lots of companies will prefer it.

Agreed. Especially with slack raising prices, I understand the business decision.

Not if people quit because talking to each other is made to be a terrible experience.

How hard is it to get codeblocks working instead of them focusing on every use case on the planet. It's so damn terrible.

Always a 50/50 shot whether typing three tick marks ``` will do what I want, or do nothing.

Yeah it never works for me on the mac osx desktop client. Even the regular quote tickets don't work.

Backticks suck, but you can insert code block with syntax highlighting from menu

Yeah nothing better than clicking through 2 different nested menus to insert code.

> No links > You can’t link to conversations. This means if you want to add context to a Jira ticket or in a code comment, you can’t easily do so.

You can, at least technically, if you know the message IDs (search for Teams deep links).. Not sure why they don't expose this on the UI though.. Shameless plug: If you are looking for linking conversation to Jira, try our app: https://marketplace.atlassian.com/apps/1220851/microsoft-tea...

One more: No keyboard shortcut for Back, on the Mac at least. And most of the other shortcuts only work in a meeting.

Regarding code block, try ```<space> (backtick 3 times then space)

If Teams could just get real markdown support, instead of shoddily replacing it with WYSIWYG

I imagine the majority of their user base prefers WYSIWYG over Markdown. They're not trying to target mostly developers.

It's easy to forget as literally no other application works this way.

Thanks, adding the <space> in chats does work!

It isn't because Microsoft lacks good programmers. My guess would be that someone believes they need to have every feature from slack, zoom, WebEx, meet etc, and also integrate tightly with every Skype/SharePoint/OneNote feature, and also run on at least four platforms. But they aren't willing to give people time to do this.

When I end a meeting, Teams helpfully shows a window that states something like "meetings is just one of the many things we do!" to which I want to reply, "maybe you shouldn't do more".

This is spot on. I remember thinking that they added so many features very early on, even though they were still struggling with the most basic ones. And it sounds like they still do.

> It isn't because Microsoft lacks good programmers.

Their products targeted to other programmers seem to be nicer to work with. E.g. VS Code, C#, SQL Server. The products aimed at the ‘knowledge workers’, like Teams, and SharePoint are garbage.

I wonder how there's so much difference. Don't programmers working at VS Code and Teams interact with each other?

Could very well be that the PM/PO of the VSCode project has actual dev-experience as well ?

I read somewhere else that VS Code is maintained by the GitHub team, is that correct?

That’s what they get for consistently paying less than other FANG companies.

It's software that has never said no to a feature.

So you get a pile of conflicting goals.

Generally to resolve this you need to demand a high level of user competency. Think emacs; does everything, things are mutually exclusive, competency is required.

The teams approach though is to try to satisfy this without requiring any competency. It's probably not doable

> It isn't because Microsoft lacks good programmers.

Definitely wrong, I have worked there with a few of the best developers and designers, the problem is not with the development side

> My guess would be that someone believes they need to have every feature from slack, zoom, WebEx, meet etc, and also integrate tightly with every Skype/SharePoint/OneNote feature, and also run on at least four platforms.

This is probably the main reason, probably not just with Teams but the whole Office suite

> But they aren't willing to give people time to do this.

If you refer to the above you'll see that there is never enough time to do that, it's too bloated and sometimes with contradicting requirements. If you then add testing it is probably impossible to come up with a good enough product.

Disclaimer- I still think Teams is an OK product and I use it daily

Absolutely incredibly garbage, how do they have the audacity to ship something so bad? The few times I tried to use it for large important meetings were a total shit show. I experienced a situation where everyone could see and hear only about half of the other meeting participants, but not the same set for everyone. It was really incredibly confusing for everyone involved.

This thread is incredibly negative, this is a suprise because our entire company relies on teams for remote working and it works pretty damned well.

Interestingly teams usage seems to be still rising post-pandemic, something competitors are not seeing (and competitors include its own Skype product), teams even managed to surpass Slack in third part plugin support. So i'm not really buying this thread as repsentative, but it more function of the extremly high usage whcih is suprising on a forum which is heavily Mac/Linux oriented.

Teams usage is rising because it's free and bundled with other corporate MS office offerings like SharePoint. That's my hunch anyway, I really don't think anyone who's used Slack and Teams equally (yes, on a mac in this case) would pick Teams on its merit.

> Interestingly teams usage seems to be still rising post-pandemic

We don't use Teams, but IME, every meeting I setup in Outlook defaults to including a Teams link. I have to actively turn it off. This type of thing will eventually get people stumbling into using Teams.

Outlook Options > Calendar > Add online meeting to all meetings

Yeah, and I have it set for Zoom and it still turns on a Teams meeting every single time. I'm using the Outlook web UI.

A lot of this thread are people with poor overall implementations complaining about Teams, I bet most of the issues are caused what’s deployed in front of teams, firewalls, etc. Windows not configured for enterprise. IT departments not keeping up.

I use all major chat applications. From Webex to Logmein, to various telephony bs like Jive, daily.

Is Teams perfect? No, but it’s nowhere near as bad as this thread paints it. Would I use anything else? Slack for chat & image heavy workloads, like dev team, or IT support queue.

I guess it's like any product review, those with poor experiences are more likely to voice their opinion.

Our org uses Teams and sure, there are some negatives (search, I'm looking at you) I've never had any of the issues the parent has and I've been using it daily since it first came out. I also use Slack (less frequently) and prefer Teams, but Slack's search is much better.

We use both Slack and Teams on Mac - and I find that Teams is more reliable lately.

I had to use Teams a lot in the past years as I worked for companies that they went all-in for O365. While O365 is not bad (and even some of components of O365 are quite good) Teams is the epitome of terrible software. Terrible UI, unreliable delivering notifications, terrible at handling external devices (headphones, webcams). It's very untrustworthy when it gets to automatically updating status based on activity (happens more often than you think). The concept of "Teams" (group chats) in MS Teams is the worst I have ever seen. It clearly promotes isolation between groups! I can go on for hours about how bad it is but I will stop here. I will say though that when I interview with a company, if they don't use MS Teams, they get extra points! :-)

Edit: also this came up recently: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/microsoft-tea...

Good ol' MS!

Yes! I just started at a company all-in on Microsoft where my previous place used Slack

On Slack, we were encouraged to keep communication out in the open, it was far easier to jump into discussions

Everyone is in a silo on Teams. Every time something needs to be discussed a new group chat is created, and the public channels see little use due to the "formality" of posting to them

It's also just a terrible piece of software. It doesn't handle media in any common formats (heif images, and most video is not transcoded). It tells you that you have already posted a piece of media just because the file name matches (likely, as I just paste everything from my clipboard). You can't draw on someone's screen during a call. Trying to type code into the message window is annoying and broken. Typing with any form of indentation is immediately lost. The custom notifications (why not use macOS notifications!?) are gross

I asked my business why we use it. I was told it was free for them. I told them it's probably costing us a lot more in lost collaboration and downtime due to technical issues.

I had the joy of helping with a Teams to replace Slack rollout at the start of the Pandemic. During which I had multiple meetings with Engineers and Product folks at MS. Two reasons struck out as significant problems.

The first was that Teams is Skype and Sharepoint mashed together with duct tape. When you'd ask for improved UX, it would all fall to "Ah yes, the Sharepoint team would have to do X so the other team can do Y. They aren't built like that, though, so you cannot have it". Teams is not one product and will never feel that way.

The second was scarier. I was trying to encourage communities of practice and having open communication by default, with some private rooms when needed. Like in Slack, you have multiple channels rather than disappearing into your own Team. Promoting openness was anathema to their Product people "Why would you want people to see what you say? Privacy is the default". I got the impression MS internally is not a safe space to speak, and Teams has that same cultural baggage.

> Promoting openness was anathema to their Product people "Why would you want people to see what you say? Privacy is the default". I got the impression MS internally is not a safe space to speak, and Teams has that same cultural baggage.

This is really weird to me too and makes collaborating within an org difficult. One of the big advantages of teams should be that we’re all in the same org and get paid and background checked. So there’s a base level of identity.

I can’t tag someone unless they are in a team. So yesterday I was in a thread in an R user group and couldn’t tag someone not in the group even though they had a relevant project. This was stupid.

So I would have to ask him to join the team just to talk on this one thread. And that didn’t happen so the thread was worse off.

That and the notifications are horrible and I have so many from the 30 teams I’m in (partly because of the above problem) I just ignore them.

If someone IMs me, I don’t know it unless I manually go to the pain that shows notifications that is usually behind other meetings.

I suspect no one at Microsoft uses Teams realistically. So it’s just full of met requirements on paper and not in reality.

Another piece of cultural baggage is hiding the organisation of people in meetings. Large enterprises do this because they have subcontractors that they like to pretend aren't subcontractors.

I'm a consultant invited to meetings in a customer's tenant with people from various subcontractors and vendors present.

John: "So, what is your honest opinion about Andrew's statement?"

Me: "I have no idea who you are or which org Andrew works for... so no opinion that I'd be willing to state."

The complete lack of being able to have offtopic/misc conversations has really sucked. When we had slack we had a channel specific to just chitchat and it was always active but very loose and fun.

We now have a "Chit Chat" channel/team but it's so difficult to use in a natural way that now nobody uses it and now we have zero of it.

As a purely remote worker it kinda sucks

Try this: select all the text in a text box input in teams with your mouse, click and drag the cursor to select the text. Start typing. It will type the correct characters, right to left. So instead on "hello world" it will display "dlrow olleh". No joke. Selecting by triple clicking doesn't trigger the right-to-left typing. Using shift and arrows doesn't. Just by dragging the cursor. I can't imagine what could possibly cause this, even as a bug. Truly impressively bad software.

Can't repro this on my end to be fair.

I'm not sure I share the view that Teams is terrible although I do occasionally have problems but I think it does share a lot of traits with modern software that I will call "spongeware" because it feels spongy.

Back in the day with pure desktop apps, you had crisp quick feedback when you clicked things, a window would open or be dismissed. It was hard to cause serious timing bugs because 1) Most things were written in code compiled to platform sdks and 2) Not much was network based 3) THe app worked more quickly than your clicking

What happens when you add not only network, but app frameworks that feel more like browsers than desktop apps, you click things and it takes a second to spring back, you think you clicked a button but nothing happens so you click it again, maybe the app is sending telemtry back to base or maybe it is needlessly loading a dataset from the network instead of just a local dll. What does it add up to? 1,000,000 unrepeatable bugs based on random timings and lockups, based on people doing things they didn't realise like double-clicking at the same time that anti-virus is scanning the network or your internet provider is having a blip!

There are still apps from the old-school like Notepad++ on Windows which feels solid and which auto-updates really easily instead of dynamically updating when you are trying to work but somehow they are not cool or don't tick the promise of "cross-platform development" which mostly means it's a bit crap on all platforms instead of great on one.

Simple answer:

It is a badly coded mess of spaghetti code, written with an ancient framework (AngularJS, currently running version 1.5.15), then ported to different platforms with Electron.

Have a look at the source code in your browser, it is not obfuscated in any way.

It is a single file of almost 17MB (!) of minified JavaScript, and I'm surprised the browser doesn't outright crash and actually manages to parse this, run and display a web application.

That explains a lot of it.

AngularJS's dirty checking was neat but pretty inefficient, and since you didn't have to think much about implications of changes of state it was easy to write slow apps in angularjs.

By contrast, Slack is 6MB of minified JavaScript across 6 requests.

OK, let's not mince words. It is so bad because you, all of you who suffer under this, don't give IT managers and decision makers enough shit for choosing this crap. You don't stand up for yourself, you don't refuse to use it, and you do nothing to improve your situation because you think you can't.

Right now most of you are shaking your head. "It isn't that simple". "I can't do anything about this". "It isn't my place". You are wrong. You can do something about it, but it is going to take a bit of backbone and a bit of initiative. You may lack a backbone. Grow one. Don't whine. Whining accomplishes nothing and communicates that you have given up.

You find better alternatives, recruit others to your cause and force badly run organizations to change -- essentially by leading a revolt. There is only so much a manager can do when employees say "no". And it is easier to say "no" when more people say "no".

If you have ever been a manager you know perfectly well that if you can't get your people to do as you say, you are done. A leader who can't make people follow isn't a leader. It can be a career killer. Lots of managers have nightmares about this.

You can use that to your advantage.

If you don't want to use Teams: find an alternative, start using it, recruit others to your cause and stand up to whomever says "you can't".


On my team at a previous company we just started a team Slack when the company moved to Teams. If people wanted to get in touch with us faster, they had to use Slack. If they wanted a meeting with us, we’d send them a Zoom link.

It was passive aggressive for sure, but it allowed us to not have to use Teams as much. I’m sure there are some draconian companies that will actually fire you for refusing to fall in line on this stuff, but for many reasonable people, it’s pretty difficult to fire high performing people for something this trivial.

I've worked at the same place for years, and they switched to Teams a couple of years ago.

I can't change their decision, but I can work for somebody else, and having to suffer through this crapware is pushing me in that direction. "Must use Teams" is a huge red flag for any potential job offer.

I think you under-estimate the amount of power you have if something is really important.

I use alternate tools in addition to Teams. And I use my budget to pay for other tools.

Sadly, I'm suffering from a top down "you must use Teams" mandate.

I hate Teams, but here, I'm going to have to be on it anyway. Slack and other clones are better... but fragmenting communication between two different platforms (one of which must be Teams) is worse than just dumping everything into Teams and being done with it.

About a decade ago I started working in a company with about 30k employees (?) that had really stringent top-down mandates. You had to get a standard laptop, installed by our IT partner, with a 50Mb mail quota and all manner of seriously outdated MSFT tools. To add insult to injury, a fairly huge chunk of money would be charged to our budget per person for this. I'll get back to the cost issue.

I did something no middle manager had done before me. I said "no". And my boss backed me up on it.

I got called into meetings with people with long titles and yelled at. I was told that this was insubordination, unproductive behavior and whatnot. I calmly explained that this didn't change anything because the equipment, software and service levels were not of acceptable quality and especially not at the cost to our budget. The answer remained "no".

Note that I was willing to be fired over this. I'd rather not have a job there than have to accept having to work with tools that would have made my day miserable. I made this perfectly clear.

So our organization existed wholly outside the company's internal network. We leased a broadband connection, set up our own internal infrastructure behind a couple of firewalls, had qualified people configure the network infrastructure, set up mail, calendaring etc with a better service provider, set up collaboration tools internally etc.

The cost? In the first year it was about the same as we would have paid for laptops, network, services etc in the existing regimen. The reason was that everyone got to pick their own computers - which were on the order of 6-7 times more expensive than the standard company laptop. All of our services were cheaper and orders of magnitude better. The second year we didn't have to buy everyone new computers so we had money to pay our own IT staff. People who worked for us, in our offices who you could walk over to and talk to. Stuff got done.

(We still could have bought ourselves expensive laptops every 4 years and still spend less money than the standard IT setup in the company)

Several things happened over the next years. Some of the systems were better integrated with the mothership. Employees from the rest of the company started to "bum rides" off of us. That is, they got accounts on our IT infrastructure, got access to our network etc. Because it allowed them to work more efficiently. There were clashes over security policy etc. These were resolved through reviews and formal approvals. Some of these were unnecessarily tense. Mostly because they laid bare the fact that the people who got upset about "the rebels" tended to be poorly qualified and had a habit of being bullies.

Eventually the culture slid backwards as good leaders left the company and were replaced with people who didn't actually know how to build an effective culture. A lot of the "freeloaders" were kicked out, which I felt was unnecessary and shortsighted. (In my book this was just basic poor judgement: if you can improve collaboration by spending a few hundred dollars per year per person, that should be a trivial decision. You just do it).

In parallel with this there was the production side. Rather than spending 6-9 months asking for virtual machines operated by incompetent consultants only available through a ticket system(), and with tons of paperwork to get anything done, we made use of AWS. A decade ago most of the IT leadership of the company had no idea what AWS was. It was obvious we wouldn't ask them for anything because they weren't qualified to help.

We got started by ignoring two families of rules. IT procurement and how to pay for stuff. We used a credit card to buy AWS resources, which our boss then expensed. This meant that we were up and running 1-2 hours after making the decision. No twiddling thumbs for half a year while people have to go to meetings and write documents of exactly what we need, and pay a fortune for third rate service on obsolete hardware.

This too went through a maturation process. I'm sure someone went through the formal procurement procedures (I wasn't involved in that). AWS started billing us via invoice. Since we are in Europe we also needed a few formal agreements on proper data handling by AWS etc. All of that happened.

A few years later we were the biggest AWS customer in our region. The funny thing is that when I spoke to the Group CEO about this, he had no idea that it started as an act of insubordination and that we really hadn't given the IT organizations any choice. Because there is always someone ready to take credit for other people's results.

I'm not saying that people should put their career on the line to do what we did. Because you kind of have to take that risk. But what I am saying is that unproductive top down mandates can be pushed back if you have people with some backbone. Even in companies where obedience is a big thing.

() I'm sure lots of IT services companies do this, but the company that delivered IT services to my former employer had a policy of closing tickets as soon as they could. Even when issues were not resolved. They could then misrepresent these cases as "closed". I don't think anyone really called them out on this practice. This meant that any non-trivial problem had to be filed again and again and again.

2022 and Microsoft still can't write a program that correctly uses the clipboard.

When I select "some text" and press Ctrl-C I want "some text" in the clipboard. Not this monstrosity:

    [09:57] John Smith:
    some text
I can't believe anyone inside MS uses Teams for serious communication. It must surely drive them mad!

This is one of the egregious sins of Teams that I've noticed. Who would ever want copy & paste to work this way..? Fine if you want to have that option, but call it "Copy entire message". Everyone at my company universally agrees Teams is shit.

I agree its dumb that its so difficult to just copy a single message without the header. But select more than just that one message and paste it, and it makes sense why its there.

It should be easier to just get the body of text from one message while still giving those timestamp headers for multi-message selection. No reason why they can't figure out a better way to have both.

From a financial point of view the answer is because you’re not paying for it

Teams is bundled with Office 365 to steal marketshare from other companies like Discord who charge a bit more and are a stand alone service. It’s why Salesforce bought Slack.

CFOs at Fortune 500 companies want to be efficient with their spending so they won’t buy an extra license if their existing bundle is “good enough”

Teams is “good enough” so Microsoft doesn’t invest in it as much as other more profitable areas

Nobody considering Office 365 is thinking of Discord as a Plan B.

They aren't in the same market as Discord. It's Teams vs Slack.

Because the people making enterprise deals are doing it face-to-face (probably at a nice dinner sponsored by MS.) They don't use tools like this and they're more interested in "checking the box" than analyzing what would improve people's work life (missing that it would probably improve efficiency.) If you're still having your administrative assistant print out all your emails - and dictating your responses back to them - then it's time to retire and let a digital native fix things in ways you can't even imagine!

If we're listing pet peeves, there's an infuriating one that Microsoft steadfastly refuses to fix: MFA re-authentication prompts that often occur in a middle of a meeting.

Recently I was presenting to 30+ senior staff, and in the middle of my sentence Microsoft Teams decided to shove its virtual hand in my face and prompt me to AUTHENTICATE RIGHT NOW. Not after the meeting, not in idle time, no sir! Right now. This instant. Or your presentation to the CxOs is over, you hear me? Got it?

Press the button on the phone, now. Press it. PRESS IT.

This is a regular comment on hn. It doesn't chime with my experience.

I have used Teams every day for 3 years. It is a memory hog, it sometimes takes a moment from connection to hearing people...but I never once had it 'crash'. I swap from phone to screen fairly regularly with no problem.

I wonder, do people who pay for Teams as an organisation get better service? We pay and I have no problems with it.

On the last 2 companies I have been hired we have been paying for teams and still the experience is crappy. I have not seen crashes but however I have seen teams window being totally unresponsive, people complaining about having to reboot their computer because their teams window was unresponsive/laggy during videocall. I mean not just sound and video stuttering like it would with a bad internet connection but the complete window being unreactive. This on all OSes: windows, Mac and Linux. Also the struggle is real when pairing / connecting different headsets/speakers, especially bluetooth ones after the app/browser is started. The device might not appear as selectable, sometimes the sound is coming from one audio device although it is another one that is selected (same with microphone), this is a total shit show.

On a personnal note it is much better for me since I stopped using the app on Linux. I installed microsoft-edge that is now dedicated to it and other Office365 stuff. I still experienced bugs, issues with messages synchronisation between teams running on more than one device or more than one browser. And the mobile app is a complete resource and battery hog, I refuse to install it on my new smartphone.

We pay and I've encountered most of the mentioned issues.

Most aggravating one being when audio just wouldn't work (test call worked fine) for one meeting (forced to listen in through the phone app) and then did work for the one right after.

The most regular annoyance is me getting marked as idle while actively working. When it did yesterday I was typing away a ton in vscode but it took a good long while for it to update.

Same here. Never had a problem with Teams with the organization. I am using mac though.

I hate how Teams really can’t handle full-duplex conversations, at least with transpacific calls. You pretty much need to speak, pause, and then hope that only one person speaks next, or there’s a series of “sorry, you go ahead…” until someone manages to get started again. Background noise removal and feedback removal is poor compared to the competition. I much prefer Zoom for video/voice conferencing and Slack for text chats.

However, what Teams has done well is dethrone WebEx and other legacy stuff from really big companies during the pandemic/WFH era. As has been mentioned, many big companies already had huge Microsoft accounts (likely O365) so turning on Teams was easy. When WebEx fell over under load, users moved to Teams.

One feature that’s pretty cool is the real time closed captions and the ability to do text based searches for recorded meetings. But that’s not enough to make up for some of the most basic audio quality issues.

That also means that you cannot mute other members. When I'm in a meeting in my office and a colleague sitting next to me is in the same meeting, I can hear them twice, once in real life and once in teams, a couple of hundred seconds later.

> I hate how Teams really can’t handle full-duplex conversations, at least with transpacific calls.

Half my teammates live in the same city and duplex conversations basically don't work. It's not just "my internet is bad", I can jump on discord with my friends, and watch 3 people stream stuff (in higher quality) simultaneously, and have multiple people talking simultaneously and be able to clearly hear all of them.

It's a natural side effect of adoption. Slack and other messaging apps are typically adopted organically by the end-user . They are "sold" via good product experience. Teams on the other hand is adopted by IT administrators who receive the product bundled an appreciate the ease of activation over the user experience.

Pretty simple root cause: Bureaucracy combined with lack of shared vision.

I support your need to vent, it's undisputably a magnificently huge pile of stinky garbage. Given the amount of resources poured in, it'd be hard to do worse.

What's particularly sad is that they're just cloning an existing thing. The "vision" need be nothing more than "see this, make something exactly like it that works". Google made similar mistakes with Google Chat but thankfully nobody uses that.

Nah, Google's mistakes with Chat are myriad but the biggest one is that they didn't make Slack. They added like one feature on top of Hangouts (threaded group chats), completely redesigned the entire interface (and the Gmail and Meet interfaces while they were at it), changed a bunch of words to make it seem like they copied Slack, and then said "enjoy using this new turd we pushed out".

(Okay, they also added a tiny bit of Markdown-based text formatting. Because why not use the least intuitive, most complicated possible solution, and then not document half of it.)

I'm convinced Redmond is using Slack on macbooks internally.

We're Microsoft hardware (surface line), Microsoft OS, and Microsoft software.

You'd think things would work with that combo? Sleep is utterly broken, Excel crashes, snip works sometimes, audio levels are all over the place with teams doing its own thing separate from system, BT connections are unstable, teams is dog slow, Onenote search gives up with even smallish amounts of data saved

I'm just not buying that MS is dogfooding this

When I was working in Redmond I never used IE once.

Famously the entire team working on the Windows 11 GUI uplift are Mac users. Explains a lot.

> I am literally forced to use this app at work...

Exactly. You are not the customer. Your IT admin is. And they have to convince your security team while managing spend. Why wouldn’t they pick the “free” option that your company has already approved for deployment?

We use Teams for group calls at work, but Slack for all other messaging. This is because Slack's video calling feature has always been a pain, particularly for our Linux team members. It could have improved, but we moved to Teams for calls so I wouldn't know. Because I only open teams when we have a meeting and then immediately close it, my experience is generally positive. I _wish_ I could just use the browser based version to save opening the slow-slow-slow-to-open desktop app but: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/safari-browser-su... says I need to disable cross-site tracking which is, frankly, an insane ask.

I think that sort of poor engineering is a sign that the team behind teams must have very limited resources. It's hard to prioritise a desktop browser with such small market share, especially when a work around of 'just use the app' is there - but this is hardly a lean startup here.

Teams works fine in Edge on a Mac. It’s the only reason I installed Edge.

If I’m going to need to install and open specific software just to use Teams, then it’s probably going to be the Teams app itself.

The purpose of having it browser based is that I can have it quickly open in a tab in the window I’m already in and then close it again.

Other MS products work in my browser (Outlook for example) so why not Teams? I suspect because the Teams team is pretty understaffed.

Today I had to use Windows. I installed Teams and called a colleague to pair program. He then left me on hold, and the hold music kicked in; I search everywhere in the app's settings to no avail. I searched how to stop and disable this hold music, and then, to me disbelief, I found out that I had to go to "Teams admin center" and manage policy to disable this, there's even a a dedicated page for this madness [0]!

Burn this wretched creature!

[0] https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/music-on-ho...

Because microsoft got to big, which distorts the market. We learned this in economy 101 on high school: a monopoly is bad for the consumer. This here is technically not a monopoly but it is close.

The producer of good A is using its momentum in market A to push a product in market B. This way, any big conglomeration can use its big fat ass to push innovation out of market B. All it has to do is offer product B for free, with a purchase of A. This promotes lazy consumerism, nothing good ever comes from it.

This is why coupled sales should be banned. This is why the EU tried to uncouple browsers from OSs, why you now have to explicitly choose a browser.

Microsoft focuses entirely on MVP (minimum viable product) and they expand their use-cases to include more features at a minimal amount of effort.

Polish and use-ability don't matter when they can sell anything if it has XYZ feature.

If you look at the teams roadmap it's more and more features.

- MSN Messenger

- Windows Live Messenger

- Microsoft Office Communications

- Microsoft V-Chat

- Microsoft Lync

- Skype

- Skype for Business (completely different piece of software than skype)

- Microsoft Classroom

- Microsoft Teams

(no guarantee of completeness)

Some of these did better than others, but in the end they all went down the drain. That makes me suspect that it's not the software itself, but some corporate requirements that Microsoft imposes on their chat programs, that's the root cause of the problems.

Wasn't Skype for Business just a rebranding Lync after the Skype purchase ?

This one was painful with your smartphone and computer not necessarily receiving the same messages. Also I never understood how and why my status was changing/not changing automatically.

I think Teams still suffers from similar issues. It happens that sometimes I open a second teams in a separate browser to have a full chat window while videoconferencing and both chats are not always in sync, sometimes I see a message has been sent from the notification window but if I try to see the full message it never appears on that window while it does on another one.

> just a rebranding Lync

OCS, Lync and Skype for Business are all the same (quite shitty) product.

Like in 2014 you couldn't send a message with more than 800 chars. Now imagine troubleshooting something which requires sending logs? AND this is not confirable AND the client actively bitch at you AND you can't even the know the char limit from the client.

[0] https://techslaves.org/2015/06/03/lyncskype-for-business-mes...

Oh gosh, had to use Lync for work (on a Mac). The absolute horror.

In fairness the Google list looks similar.

- Hangouts - Wave - Plus - Duo - Meet - Chat

Maybe they had similar requirements. Like integration of and into other products of theirs, or idk.

Teams is buggy, clunky, and unreliable, though fairly feature rich. I find things like Google stuff/Slack/Discord to be somewhat more reliable and less unpleasant to use (even if Discord is another clunky Electron app.)

But few things can compare to Zoom's astonishingly cavalier attitude toward security and privacy, and Zoom seems unavoidable in many contexts.

I will say at least their security game has been stepping up. They've really curtailed what information is available through their apis by default.

Still not...great. But at least trending in the right direction.

On the other hand, the privacy situation... jesus I've never seen more analytics and cookies in my life than when I inspect my profile page on zoom.us.

> They've really curtailed what information is available through their apis by default.

Maybe. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=32901768

It's not just chat. It hooks into dozens of MS products (planner, excel, ...), Office365, Azure and a bunch of different services. It has to be compliant with government and Military standards if the domain falls into one of those categories.

If it was just chat, it would probably by much less of a bloated mess of crap. The problem is that MS never makes just a simple tool anymore. They want it to hook into every other MS platform and product line and before you know it, the new product is slow and bloated again...

A peeve: Last week I got invited to an online meeting. I am using Firefox on Arch Linux on a Framework laptop. One hour before I opened the invitation link and was just told to wait till the meeting starts. OK. But when the time was up, Teams suddenly told me to install something in a hurry.

I fished out my wife's Chromebook instead but we missed two minutes of the meeting.

That's clearly a failure: I didn't get a chance to check my setup before the meeting started.

Sample size of "me", but I couldn't even tell you the last time Teams crashed for me. I frequently change cameras and microphones in the middle of a call (I change the microphone because I have a USB microphone that is shared to multiple PC's with a USB switcher which means it is essentially being unplugged and plugged. This causes Teams to switch to a different microphone.)

And there's one thing that really bugs me: in the new Win11 build 22H2 - supposed to let you regulate how much power each process is allowed to use through the 'economy' feature of Task Manager - Teams seems to be amongst few apps on which that functionality is not allowed. It's only possible to limit individual processes within Teams, but not the entire app. Basically making the feature useless, since Teams uses at least 20 processes on my system. I can limit all of Edge. I can limit any of my own apps. Teams is the single most inefficient app I have installed. And it's the only one I can't easily limit. Why Microsoft, why? (edited for clarity)

I have a different experience. 5-10 calls/day on Windows or iPhone. Seamless transition if I want to switch the conversation to another device. Use multiple webcams and headsets. Screen-share a lot. Both Teams App and browser version. Never had any problems with it.

I really like Teams and what it brings to my team. But reading the comments here I'm the minority.

It feels like a bit of hyperfixation going on. Teams is terrible but so are Slack, Zoom, Google Meet, Discord, etc. They're all also amazing, including Teams. Turns out different people have different experiences and different usage patterns (and hardware) that work differently well with different applications.

Personally I prefer Teams over Slack but I haven't used Teams in a large company. Formatting is nicer in Slack but I can't imagine why anyone would claim Slack is good for sharing code beyond basic one-liners. Teams allows me to carry over a video call from one device to another while Slack doesn't even allow me to queue a message when I'm on spotty WiFi. Threading on Teams is a bit unusual but Slack's multiple ways of viewing threads (only one of which shows new replies in real time) can also be annoying.

But I'm not representative of most of the people commenting here. I run stock Windows 11 with an Azure AD domain account on a Surface Studio Laptop, I do my development in WSL and my browsing in Edge. And for the most part, everything just works.

I use teams, slack and zoom for video conferencing. Of all of them zoom is the best imho. (Not that I'm a fan of any of them). It seems to just work the most. Slack has weird issues with screen sharing only working sometimes apart from that it's not bad. Teams randomly doesn't launch and for the past month the calendar integration has vanished with no sign of return. Why are they so bad? It's Microsoft. Everything they do is bad these days. Hell earlier today I tried to block pushes from admins to a GitHub repo could I find the button? Nope. In Gitlab it's a drop-down. [/endrant]

I use Slack all day every day, and frequently use Slack huddles as a more instant alternative to spinning up a zoom meeting (huddles are more discoverable because you can instantly see channels with a active huddle, and its good for more of a general hang out / paired session that doesn't demand a more static meeting).

I've not once had trouble with the screen sharing, though in the initial rollout of the feature to our org audio was a bit glitchy - that hasn't been an issue for us in the past ~6 months.

I can only throw out a series of ideas:

1) It's built on top of Sharepoint ... somehow.

2) It is a "Me, too" product without any kind of compelling vision, which usually leads to a mentality of "survey existing competitors in that 'space' and nab their features."

3) Because it is free, they feel the need to push it everywhere, even if isn't appropriate for most people. Go to your File Explorer and stare at that "3D Objects" Folder, marvel at the concept that so many people would have 3D printers that of COURSE you are going to need a 3D objects folder, the same way you have one for Music. Wait...

MS Paint is useful without a printer, so maybe 3D Paint will be become too...

My biggest gripe isn't teams-specific, it's that MS office products still won't support multiple logins. With Google I can be logged into my 4 different work, personal and business accounts simultaneously and switching between the active one is a single button click.

MS won't even support two accounts, so 3 out of 4 times I get invited to a teams meeting I'm in the wrong account, and it's a huge pain to sign out and sign back in; there's no single sign-in (even in Windows!) that works for Outlook, Onedrive, Teams, etc. all at once. Ridiculous.

One thing that has been referenced but not really talked about is that Teams doesn't want to be a tool, but the complete solution.

With the built in SharePoint, and Office editors you can see that it is designed for a very particular use case. The problem is that most people on Hacker News are not just document sharing and editing. Most people are not doing this, and especially not in the half baked Office online tooling.

As a chat tool isn't not great. It isn't supposed to be a chat tool though, which is why it will never be good.

It could still be much more efficient and less buggy. A sort of Zulip + Office 365 and external apps integration.

It could be a lot more efficient by dumping the Teams tab. I don't understand these cards that have chat threads against them as they are large enough that the information contained in them is useless.

Their goal was to get a bunch of users. Their team figured out how, and went out and got a bunch of users very rapidly. Mission accomplished. Microsoft was very happy.

Oh– It's a buggy video call solution and poor replacement for Slack? Yeah, not important.

They're at over 270m users in an ecosystem of 350m Office 365 users. There's no "less buggy version of Teams" out there with market share to attract by making minor improvements to the software.

It does exactly what it's supposed to, and what Skype for Business already did. The biggest thing moving the roadmap forward is Teams capability to do "Office 365 Enablement" - i.e. win new users into the Office 365 ecosystem.

There's a lot of things Microsoft can do to accomplish that. Some of them may be new Teams features. Some of them are tweaks to pricing and bundling and other unsexy things like that. Some of them may eventually be bug fixes or fun features that make Teams more enjoyable to use.

But, at this point, your best chance of getting minor features built, is to hope internal Microsoft employees find it annoying enough to prioritize, just so they can see the feature fixed.

Because Teams does what it's supposed to, decently well, and well enough to succeed massively in the marketplace for "generic video call software I don't have to pay a bunch of extra money for".

Teams is corpocrapware.

Employer was using Skype for Business. I hated it. Had to install pipeline jobs to detect non-ascii crap that developers copy pasted from message chats. The text processor on Skype loves to convert quotes to curly quotes add some weird character that looks like a space but its some rich text aberration.

When company announced it was moving to Teams I was very happy. We could finally ```exchange some code``` right? I'm not happy right now. Its slow, it hangs all the time, it makes a mess with audio devices and behaves erratically when copy-pasting text. Sometimes it copies what you select but most of the time it copies the whole message along with the metadata.Some people can still use Skype. When you send messages to those people it flattens out everything into a single paragraph.

I suspect some of those issues might be caused by security crapware that the company implements on the locally installed Teams software. Doesn't change the fact that I kinda miss Skype now.

I'd blame Electrum but vscode is kinda ok. Not my choice for editor but still not as terrible as Teams.

Come on Microsoft. Discord which is a tool for gaming teenagers is miles ahead in usability and features. Slack lacks features but its a breeze to use. Even Element which is a company that probably has less than 5% of MS resources can output a decent product.

Like Dick Jones says in the Robocop movie about the failed ED209: “I had a guaranteed military sale with ED209! Renovation program! Spare parts for 25 years! Who cares if it worked or not!”

Teams has to be one of the worst products in its class, of all time.

It is a catastrophically corpulent and fickle mass of errors, wrapped in a UI that looks like Prince shat it out circa 1998.

I wonder how many of these complaints are due to Teams itself or if it's due to the crappy "corporate" builds deployed to the PCs? My guess is that it's more due to the crappy corporate builds since I've seen so many of them that don't have up-to-date drivers (or have missing drivers), and many of them have multiple competing security scanning software, along with over-strict policies and restrictions that affect Teams.

It’s Teams. On a intel Mac with no management software, it is a shitty, buggy mess.

Works beautifully on an M1. I never have any of the issues that colleagues do on their heavily IT mutilated PCs.

It’s not great on my Intel Mac. Code formatting via backticks is only applied if I type the last backtick slowly. If I type normally, it just interprets it as non-markup.

Must be that they are not true Scotsmen, if they were it wouldn't eb an issue and if it si an issue it for sure never happened to you

I never experienced any crashes, and neither can I recall a team mate complaining about that.

Bugs I encountered:

1. Opening the link to a scheduled meeting opens the browser (good), but then clicking the "open in teams" and confirming the external URL handler in the browser does... Nothing. Restarting teams fixes that. (Happens for my team mates as well).

2. I have a dedicated USB mic that's always on, while my speakers are on a different USB device that's not always on. I have to reconfigure the audio settings very often, which is especially annoying since I can't do that before answering a call. But changing the audio device works without error (unlike Discord on my private PC, which lets me select the newly connected USB device as output, but needs to be restarted to actually output audio to it).

That's about it. Of course memory and CPU usage are rather impressive. And afaik we don't use the phone (as in landline, not as in app) feature; at least I don't, so I can't comment on that.

I've to add: I tend to bash MS first and ask questions later. I'm unhappy I can't use Linux on both my work PCs. But if I'm honest, teams works pretty well for us.

Have you never sent a message with images just to later find out that the message wasn't sent and it wouldn't even show up on the chat so you could retry?

Have you never tried to join a meeting where teams made you just sit there for a minute until you decide to restart it?

Have you ever called someone at the same time as they call you, ending you with teams saying that they are calling you at the same time as you are calling them?

Have you ever tried to click on an old message from a search result, just to end up nowhere near the message?

Have you never join late to a meeting because teams didn't notify you that the meeting had started?

If you have an external calendar account linked to outlook, have you never noticed that the linked calendar events don't show up on teams calendar?

Have you ever clicked on a message notification, scrolled a bit up or down to a different message and have teams snap you back to the notification message for no good reason?

Have you ever thought to yourself that it would be nice to use custom background images on video calls, just to realise that Microsoft loves Linux so much that you can't do that on their Linux client?

Have you never noticed your teams status showing that you are in a meeting when you are not, even without any schedules meeting in the calendar?

If not... Well... Lucky you, I guess.

Now that you say it, I might have lost an image once?

Maybe our usage is just to basic; it's a tool for voice/video calls/meetings and some basic chatting. We can't even attach files anymore because our company doesn't really use teams and didn't extend the necessary licence (only our team/suborg is allowed to use it, since we need something like it and the internal alternative is not built, yet... Don't ask, not my paygrade to decide or influence that).

I don't do a lot of searching. Maybe it's broken, maybe not. Wouldn't be too surprised if it is for some users and works okay for others.

Meetings are in our outlook calendar, with working notifications.

No idea about my status, never noticed it to be off.

I'd happily trade Windows for Linux if that meant no custom background images. But I'm not surprised that the Linux client is more limited.

I'm probably just lucky we use teams only a little.

Fair points, maybe it really just boils down to how much load the companies put on teams.

I have experienced several things on that list, a long time ago. I haven't lost an image in the past year. It seems these days when I call someone when they're calling me it just connects and works and connects. I don't have issues with missed notifications. I'm using the Windows client though.

That bit about connecting when two people call at the same time just happened to me as well yesterday, so it seems things are improving, albeit slowly (better than no improvements).

> I have to reconfigure the audio settings very often, which is especially annoying since I can't do that before answering a call.

A similar issue occurs on Skype for Enterprise. You cannot plug your headphones in after someone starts calling. You have to decline the call, go in the settings and call back.

I always tell them something like "can't hear you, give me 5s".

Worst bug IMO is that Teams seems unable to reconnect after my machine goes to sleep.

This feels like an extremely basic state to detect: after n seconds of no heartbeat, reconnect.

Everyone saying teams is garbage. It’s not. It’s like you’re complaining about the kid who got a C in class. Guess what? They passed the exam.

Microsoft brutalised Slack with a C grade app that was “bundled for free”. For 80% of people, teams is just fine.

It probably also depends what you are used to.

Younger people have only ever used bloated laggy stuff like teams and don't know any better.

I miss the days of just having a dedicated desk phone - it rings, you answer, and talk instantly.

Teams in comparison pops up a call dialogue box, have to navigate the mouse to answer (because the answer hotkey doesn't work most of the time), wait for it to connect, fuck around fixing your audio devices which have changed for some reason, then finally get to start talking.

Yes teams is better if you are moving around a lot, but if you just work from home or office in a fixed location its a regression in usability.

> I miss the days of just having a dedicated desk phone

I don't really. It tied me to my desk. Now my extension is wherever I want to work, not just at my desk. Its on my cell phone, its on my work laptop, its wherever I am.

Loads of desk phones didn't have any Bluetooth support so using a headset meant getting a probably expensive maybe proprietary thing with EHS support (or a mechanical handset lifter!!!).

When I want to call someone about an email they sent me, I just click the Call button and it connects me. I don't have to then think about "what was their extension?", context change to an entirely different physical device, and then dial that extension. And then if that call connected on Teams, I'm ready to share video or have the chat pulled up to easily send them additional context right away. With a desk phone, we'd have to context change to yet another platform to then share a screen.

I do get some nostalgia for desk phones. I did our office's deployment of SIP phones and continued to be the manager of the PBX until our migration to Teams. Working on that phone hardware was honestly fun and interesting. But looking at my experience today, having it on my work machine and on my cell phone is just better.

FWIW, my Thinkpad has a call answer and decline/hangup keys on the function row which works with Teams. Makes it pretty easy. But I still don't necessarily have a hard time answering a call with the keyboard/mouse when I'm not in front of my laptop keyboard.

Yeah its probably a half rose coloured glasses and half the era and implementation of deskphone.

I had an pre-voip Avaya phone with 24 speed dials - for each contact it had a red/green LED next to the speed dial button that showed if they were busy. If it was green you could just press it and call. It had a proper headset port so no ghetto lifter :)

Teams has available status also, but I find its pretty much useless as people either fake their status to avoid being hassled, or its synced to their outlook calendar that has so much junk in it that they show as busy all day.

Roaming around wasn't much of an issue either, I just had forward to cell phone if it wasn't answered after a certain number of rings.

We also had integration with windows so tel: links and dialling from contacts worked as expected.

In the end I've learnt to live with teams, I made a small "chat" script that uses a teams url [0] to open a chat with a person from the command line vs hunting through the awful laggy ui, another AHK script to make a global mute hotkey based on a library I found on github, and another script I wrote to fix the audio device.

[0] https://teams.microsoft.com/l/chat/0/0?users=xxxx

Thanks for that URL tip, that'll come in handy.

Having more speed dial buttons would have made the desk phone a bit nicer to have. Some people in the office which used the phone a 10 speed dial buttons but a lot of the phones just had four buttons which one showed your cureent status.

Forward to cell is fine but it's only half the full feature of having your extension actually on your phone. You can receive calls, but placing them and having it show up as your office number is trickier. Our VoIP system eventually came out with halfway decent phone apps but it was a bit clunky how it actually worked internally migrating the presence from the desk phone or soft phone to the phone app.

Agreed. I use both apps simultaneously (I have them both open right now).

Admittedly, Teams uses a lot more RAM, but I have a lot of RAM. I would never know this unless I checked it.

On Linux, the official teams application crashes constantly and most often doesn't work at all for video or audio. Fine, I'll use the browser version then. Except the browser version won't load 50% of the time, brings my laptop to an absolute crawl as soon as you start a video call using up 100% cpu, and frequently will crash any other teams or outlook tabs, or often times the browser entirely.

It's borderline unusable on Linux, and I've reverted to using it on my android tablet where it is only marginally better and still has issues constantly with audio, as well as crashing when starting up, or "updating" and somehow running two simultaneous instances of the app with only one visible. Also the notifications for when someone calls has never once worked on the tablet, while simultaneously I'll get nonstop repeating notifications for meeting chat messages from a week ago.

I'm sure for many people it works just fine, but for many others that aren't exactly on the Microsoft happy path, it's a nightmare.

It's kinda ridiculous though. My work PC has 16GB of RAM and I periodically hit issues with heavy swapping and routinely causes my computer to BSOD or freeze irrecoverably. Obviously it's not just Teams and its 1.2GB of usage, but it's a significant contributor. (glass house disclaimer: the application I develop uses a ton of RAM, especially with a debug build)

Meanwhile I bought a personal computer for myself with none of my work stuff on it, and I got one with 4GB of RAM because for me that's plenty.

my 64GB RAM Macbook freezes when using Teams - should I get more ;)

The backend tech for Teams is so bad that you receive notifications of something even before it appears on screen which is terrible UX wise, the UI tells you something is happening but it's actually happenning 2sec later.

And don't forget about multi-tenant support.

If you have multiple accounts or your account has access to multiple tenants, you can only really work in one of them at a time. You have to log out and log in to each of them. Totally unusable.

Slack got this well from day zero. I can't understand how 6 years later MS Teams still doesn't support well this simple and common scenario.

Inline external teams (from other tenants) has been in beta for a while now - last time I heard, they kept having issues with the security model.

At the very least, MS should let us run multiple copies of Teams, one for each tenant. The only way around it right now, is to have the desktop client open and then the web client for a different tenant.

You can switch tenants on the fly without having to "log in" again but it essentially restarts most of the app from scratch every time you switch compared to Slack which essentially treats different workspaces like different tabs.

I think philosophically the cause is that MS 365 and Azure AD are very much built on the idea of having isolated tenants with cross-tenant guests being local copies (the documentation for implementing Azure auth for apps explicitly recommends against mixing tenants) and tenant switching was clearly an afterthought. But there's really no reason not to allow having entirely separate copies of Teams for the different tenants just like you can have multiple copies of Edge signed into different accounts.

On the other I would be wholly unsurprised to learn that there are some obscure data sharing violations happening in the Slack client when you are connected to multiple Slack workspaces and Teams avoids them through rigorous isolation.

As a Microsoft employee I can say I hate teams. It's just terrible. The search is bad. Formatting code in the message is bad. It bloated. I just need a messaging app. Like lite version of teams.

I remember when teams dropped - I was so excited for a Slack alternative.

Slack is still the best thing for work and man I hate that fact. I'm so ready to jump ship - someone please!

[Follow up] At the end of the day I want something as snappy and reliable as Whatsapp for work. I have my gripes about it, but it absolutely excels at one thing - getting my message to the other end.

I have been using teams for 3+ years on mac and windows and I have never had any issues. Perhaps you are a linux user? If so, they recommend the PWA app. I have used zoom and plenty others but nothing comes close to Teams for me.

Perhaps, having used Teams' predecessor "skype for business" I am just grateful the torment is over.

Kind of amazing to see the contrast in quality between VSCode and Teams (both Microsoft productivity apps that are relatively new/greenfield and also Electron-based)

At least it doesn’t totally change the UI and hide all important elements when you start a screen share (Zoom).

My experience has been pretty positive overall, at least for calling. Channels don’t work as well as slack, but it’s decent.

The big trick is to run it in a browser so you avoid any electron overhead. It is fully featured in browser.

Can you tell me what you mean by electron overhead?

Does that mean, like, the CPU resources it exhausts in the browser as opposed to the app is capped or reduced? Thanks

It’s a whole separate instance of chromium running to support the one app vs one instance of your browser running all of your websites and apps. I run Outlook, Slack (multiple instances), Teams, and Todoist as tabs in my browser rather than apps, and the experience is much better than using the native apps.

UX is garbage on Teams. Specially for chat compared to something like Slack. Video calls, I can live with it even though I prefer Zoom and Google Meet over Teams.

If a company uses Teams for anything more than video call, to me it's a sign that they don't care about productivity of their employees.

It's almost like Teams would perform better as a bunch of VS Code extensions

I wish open sourcing would go beyond dev tooling

I had issues for weeks (form the point we found there was even an issue) with some users not being able to create meetings with breakout rooms. Strangely, I also noticed their UI was different. Speaking with Microsoft support, after being elevated to engineers for a while, we found out the clients were being put into VDI mode which is used in virtualised environments and has features cut like breakout rooms (and a different UI). No solution was offered except delete %appdata%\Microsoft\Teams and HKLM:\\Software\Microsoft\Teams on each client when this comes up. We still have no idea how this is happening, we have Citrix Workspace installed for other purposes, but if it was that I'd expect it to affect all clients.

This has been my only real complaint in the ~8 months using the client

It’s funny that it apparently crashes for people. Never had a single crash or lagging, sharing works fine, but it also doesn’t work and is a mess.

Sometimes there are no notifications. I’ve had messages by my boss that I’d only see by chance hours later because Teams never notified me. I tried ingesting Seq alerts. But those are only possible in the groups tab, which has literally no notifications at all if one is in the chats tab.

The search feature has to be an elaborate joke. No one can think you can build a search feature that shows no context at all.

Their pseudo-markdown. What's going on there? If I press the wrong symbols or forget to paste with Ctrl+Shift+V I’ll be in some weird layout state that I can’t get out of, usually I just give up and send the broken looking messages.

No love for Jitsi in the comments ?

I'm running on Linux, Teams in the browser is 'okish' but always feels crappy/slow/buggy

Jitsi is always nice to use :)

I see that nobody here had to use Skype for Business or WebEx... This is the better future people!

Those are nightmare! And not to speak about Skype for business predecesor, Microsoft Lync.

At least they were native.

I'm working with a client right now, trying to onboard them to O365 - I tried to push them the GSuite way (I prefer it, they prefer it, but their IT company is fixed on O365 and...other reasons) - so have been spending lots of time working with O365 from a top-down perspective.

Individually, things like MS Word